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  • 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

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150994
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1330 Local Time
    1 February 1966
    Song Ve Valley, RVN
    Operation Double Eagle

    Danny was severely unhappy; first Sergeant Garcia had split he and Nik up by putting them in different fireteams, and yesterday Nikki got hit and MEDEVAC’ed to the rear. Despite being in country with the squad for three and a half months now, he felt completely alone without his best friend. After the helos came and resupplied the company, then left carrying their wounded safely away, the company dug in and occupied its night defense positions, posting OP/LPs and going to 50% in the holes. Danny found it impossible to sleep, it was the first time in the field that he and Nik weren’t sharing a hole. The company was up before dawn, and after a quick piss, brushing of the teeth, and some cold C-rats, they stomped in their holes, hoisted their packs, and began sweeping north up the Song Ve Valley.

    It was the squad’s turn on point when Sgt Garcia called them to a halt, told them to take a knee while he checked the map and checked in on the radio. They were currently atop a finger of Hill 133, but about to come down into some relatively open terrain, with ridgelines to their left (northwest) and right (southeast), as they pressed ahead to check out a fishing village in the northeast. “Alright, Thomas, you take point, and take it easy, take your time, I got a bad feeling about this one.” “Roger, Sergeant G,” replied Danny.


    Overview, north is up. Hill 133 is in the southwest (bottom left), while ridgelines dominate to the northwest (top left) and southeast (bottom right). There’s a hardball road running north-south through the center of the area, with a cluster of rice paddies across the center/left, while thick stands of trees screen the approaches to the village, which sites in the northeast (top right), as well as box in the rice paddies to the west.


    The squad is down to seven effectives…


    The patrol pushes ahead (center to bottom center to bottom right)…


    But then, as they reach the road, a Viet Cong bunker opens fire!

    To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/02/two-brothers-fight-11.html

    Next fight coming soon.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Tinier Air Combat #150988
    Just Jack
    Participant

    As always, you’re stuff looks amazing, and quit messing with real life, I don’t need no stinkin’ sci-fi! 😉

    And no, the ones I found were three of four different types of tiny tanks, on their own sprue.  I’ll have to take a look for the ones you’re talking about, maybe I missed them.

    Yeah, I keep waffling on the 3mm; I want tanks big enough to see, but I want them to look right with the planes I’ve got.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Managed to get to 500,000 hits on my blog #150987
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Oh, get outta here.  As you said, it’s certainly not.  I’m just saying that your wargaming in desk (map?) drawers was the right stuff at the right time for me, or I might have quit wargaming altogether.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Review of Another Glorious Day in the Corps #150986
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Seventeen days?  Seventeen days?  We’re not gonna last seventeen hours!  Game over man!

    Get yer @#$% together, Hudson!  This little girl lasted two weeks, with no weapons and no training!

    Well @#$%in’ A man, put her in @#$%in’ charge!

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150985
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Yeah, it’s cheesy, but it’s got Lee Ermey, so why not?

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Review of Another Glorious Day in the Corps #150948
    Just Jack
    Participant

    That’s fantastic, Nate, thanks a bunch for the rundown!

    Hicks is my favorite, too, but for overall sci-fi it’s a tossup between Hicks and… Kyle Reese 😉

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Managed to get to 500,000 hits on my blog #150947
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Yes, congratulations buddy, so glad I found your blog.

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Having a parade on a Saturday afternoon #150946
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Cool stuff, Norm!  I didn’t realize you have so much 28mm, really like those Napoleonic Austrians.

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Tinier Air Combat #150945
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Dammit man, that’s fantastic!

    I was actually upstairs last night going through all that stuff you sent me, found the tanks. I’ve got a hankering for some air/land Arab-Israeli stuff, but those tanks are just sooooooo tiny, I’m not sure I can pull it off.  Kinda thinking about getting some 3mm tanks and seeing how they look with the aircraft I got from you.  Another issue is that I need more of them, plus some trucks, arty, AAA, and buildings.  We’ll see.

    Hope all is well.

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150944
    Just Jack
    Participant

    A classic, to be sure!

    Gotta follow it up with some Full Metal Jacket, Seige of Firebase Gloria, and Uncommon Valor.

    V/R,

    Jack

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Awesome man, so glad Austin got his mojo back 😉

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Heroics and Ros 8th Army #150942
    Just Jack
    Participant

    I know what you mean in terms of  a gaming malaise, but just know there are folks out here that really enjoy your games and are looking forward to them!

    V/R,

    Jack

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Cool stuff, Shaun, you’re really churning them out again, which is excellent news!

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150884
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Thomaston,

    As I understand it there were plenty of Lance Corporals and Corporals in Force Recon during the Vietnam War, that the requirement to be a Sergeant for Force didn’t start until the mid/late 80s when Force Recon moved more into Direct Action missions and away from strictly Deep Reconnaissance.

    As a side note, on my first two floats we had an Amphibious Recon Platoon (ARP, the ‘regular,’ recon battalion guys) and the “DAP,” or Direct Action Platoon, which was shooters from Force.  My last float we had ARP and the DAP was no longer the DAP, it was now the DRP, or Deep Recon Platoon, which was moving away from being shooters and back to its doctrinal role since MARSOC was being stood up (which was called “Det 1” at that time).

    One of the boys becoming an officer would also really help out with my idea of having them become advisors to a VNMC battalion towards the end of the war.  And yes, a guy getting commissioned would leave the unit, being sent back to the States for officer training (OCS and TBS, then IOC for grunts), then be assigned to a new unit upon commissioning.  But I figure since they’re in combat I can maybe skip the ‘go home’ part, pin him, get him sent to another unit, and have the other request a transfer to follow him.

    I’m liking this idea more and more the more I think about it.  I’ve already got a framework in my head of how it can play out, and which one it should be, but the problem is that whenever I try to nudge something a certain way the dice absolutely refuse to cooperate…

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150870
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Largely they will be the same rank, and I don’t really see a rivalry between them in terms of striving for rank, they’re too good of buddies to worry about that and just want to make sure they stay together.  Now, competing for Purple Hearts, that’s a whole separate issue 😉

    I do keep thinking about one of them performing an act of valor and receiving a battlefield commission, which actually helps them stay together as one could be the Platoon Commander and the other the Platoon Sergeant, then Company Commander and First Sergeant.  See, if they both become SNCOs they won’t be able to (logically) stay together; a platoon only has one Staff Sergeant, for example.  It can be overcome: one is a SSgt and the other a Sgt, but as soon as either (or both) get promoted I’ve got problems.  We’ll see.

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Heroics and Ros 8th Army #150852
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Those look awesome, Stephen, thanks for posting!

    I hope Thuseld gets some and plays, I’ve been missing your Battlegroup games!

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Metal vs Resin casting #150851
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Very informative post, Mike, thanks for the explanation.

    And great news, Thomaston.  Does this mean I finally get my modern special forces operators in standing, kneeling, prone, walking, running, throwing a grenade, taking cover, pulling his sidearm, lightly wounded…? 😉

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150850
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Ahh, I thought you meant “outran,” and went and reread both batreps trying to figure out what you were talking about.

    But yeah, Danny now outranks Nik, but they’re so tight I can’t foresee it becoming a problem.

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150792
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Yeah, and the casualties will only get worse.

    “So Danny out rant Nikki now?”
    I’m not following, what do you mean?

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150763
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1330 Local Time
    31 January 1966
    Song Ve Valley, RVN
    Operation Double Eagle

    Operation Double Eagle kicked off on 28 January 1966, with the intent to locate and destroy the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) 18th and 95th Regiments (which were believed to have infiltrated across the DMZ in December of 1965) and the Viet Cong 2nd Regiment in Quang Ngai Province, while the US Army and ARVN forces kicked off Operation Masher/White Wing just south of the Double Eagle area of operations to destroy the NVA and VC base camps believed to be located there. On 28 January the boys’ platoon went ashore with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines (3/1) at Red Beach, spending a couple days patrolling in the local area without contact.

    On 30 January the boys’ platoon became attached to 2/3, while B-52 ‘Arc Light’ strikes were carried out in the Song Ve Valley. The intent was for the battalion to patrol the valley immediately following the B-52 strikes, but this didn’t happen due to poor weather in the area, so the boys spent a restless day and night shivering and soaked under their ponchos. The boys’ platoon ended up getting sent back to 2/4, which was then lifted by helo into the west end of the Song Ve Valley, from which they began their search.

    The boys’ platoon has been humping the valley all day, walking the massive line of craters created by the B-52 bombers, while other platoons paralleled them on the ridgelines to the north and south. The problem was that the boys’ platoon was massively outpacing the flanking platoons as humping was ten times easier on the floor of the bombed out valley then it was on the heavily jungled ridgelines, cut a million times by jagged ravines. The boys’ platoon seemed to call a halt every ten minutes, trying to allow the flankers to catch up, all the while having that very uneasy feeling they were being watched from those very same ridgelines…


    Overview, north is to top left, with the squad moving from west (bottom left) to east (top right). At top left is Hill 175, while there’s a low ridgeline running north-south at far right. Other than that it’s thick jungle broken up only by the craters, burned out areas, and rubble piles left in the wake of the B-52 strikes.


    The squad pushes east. It’s slow going as the point element takes many breaks to stop, look, and listen for signs of trouble, and the rest of the squad uses that time to search the area. “Look at that, man, VC were definitely here!” said Nelson. The squad was finding all sorts of broken weapons, ammo crates, fuel drums, pieces of bodies, even an overturned truck! “Yeah,’ replied Corporal Little, “looks like the Arc Lights hit a VC base camp. Good on’em.”


    Danny and Tate (top right) are nearing the end of the debris field, with the rest of the squad pulling up behind them, eager to get out of the open area. Nikki (bottom center) paused for a moment for another sip of nice, warm water…


    At exactly the moment a burst of AK fire broke out from atop Hill 175 (bottom left)…


    And it is immediately joined by another AK from the west (bottom left, with Hill 175 off camera to top left), firing on the Marines (top center/left) from behind!


    As the 7.62mm rounds come in, they find flesh! Nikki (bottom right) is struck, drops his canteen, and falls next to it on the jungle floor! Rivera, next to him (red bead) is suppressed, while Cpl Little (yellow bead at top left) is pinned.


    Danny and Tate (bottom right) immediately face about and begin working back, trying to find the threat, as Sgt Garcia, Cpl Zamora, Holmes, and Jackson (center/left) all hop into nearby craters, seeking cover, peering over the rim to try and discover the location of their tormenters.

    Danny listened intently, and all thoughts of the enemy disappeared when he didn’t hear the sound of the M-60 firing, knowing it could only mean one thing. To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/02/two-brothers-fight-10.html

    Next fight coming up Sunday night/Monday morning.

    V/R,
    Jack

     

    in reply to: 12mm on 4′ x 3′ ACW #150686
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Norm,

    Your table and minis look fantastic, and while I have Tigers at Minsk saved, I’ve somehow missed these, I’ll have to take a look.

    And the fight itself, that was fantastic!  The best part, of course, was the final counterattack to seal the victory for the Yanks!

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150605
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1430 Local Time
    13 January 1966
    An Hoa, RVN
    Operation Mallard

    Some old faces, Nelson and Griffin, had returned to the squad, and some new faces, Rivera and Tate, were picked up as replacements, bringing the squad strength to twelve Marines, nearly their T/O strength. They’d been patrolling in and around Da Nang for a little over a week when Sergeant Garcia walked into the squadbay and gave them a Warning Order: they were heading about 20 klicks south of Da Nang to support a sweep by 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines (1/3) and 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines (3/7) in and around a village named An Hoa. It seemed An Hoa was a burgeoning industrial center (or at least he South Vietnamese government hoped so), with the country’s only functioning coal mine and a newly completed railway spur located there. But the Viet Cong R-20 Battalion, recently reinforced by the 5th Main Force Viet Cong Battalion, was causing big trouble there for the ARVN assigned to protect An Hoa, so the Marines were being sent in find, fix, and destroy the VC forces in the area and evacuate about 300 villagers from small hamlets in the surrounding area into the (allegedly) better protected An Hoa village proper.

    The Marines kicked off Operation Mallard on 11 January 1966, having been trucked into staging areas the previous night. The first two days and nights were relatively uneventful, the Marines following the long established routine of humping all day before stopping about an hour before sunset to dig their night defensive positions, eat their evening chow, then spend a long, uneventful night interrupted by standing watch and sometimes a couple hours out on OP/LP before getting up the next morning to piss, brush their teeth, eat morning chow, stomp in their holes, and set off in search of the Viet Cong again.

    But on the third day of the operation they were humping the bush when local Ruff-Puffs (members of the ARVN) reported Viet Cong had occupied Hill 108 looking down on the western end of An Hoa. The boys’ platoon was attached to a company from 3/7 and dispatched to destroy the VC threatening An Hoa from Hill 108, the fear being the VC would infiltrate An Hoa and damage or destroy (again) coal mining infrastructure in the village. As the company moved west on Hill 108 it took contact from the north; the main body of the Marine company wheeled to deal with this contact, but the boys’ platoon was ordered to continue west at the double in order to cut off and prevent the VC from entering An Hoa, taking Hill 108 in the process.


    Overview, north is up. The southeast corner of Hill 108 is visible running across the top of the battle area, from top left to top center right, with the An Hoa railway spur running just below it, with a river bend in the east and southeast (bottom right). A portion of the northwest corner of An Hoa Village is visible in the southwest (bottom left), to include a concrete refinery building VC sappers had previously snuck in and blow up. The center of the tactical area is dominated by rice paddies, devoid of cover. The Marines are hustling into the area from the southeast (bottom right), where they were patrolling east of the river bend, so they’ll have to require that large open area at center.


    The Marines push across the rice paddies, towards the hill.


    The Viet Cong open fire as the Marines cross the railroad tracks.


    Nik and Danny stand tall and return fire.


    As Corporal Zamora’s fireteam (bottom center, with the rest of the squad at top left and the VC atop the hill at top right) move to flank the enemy positions.

    To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/02/two-brothers-fight-9.html

    Next fight coming Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

    V/R,
    Jack

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Shaun,

    15 it is! 😉  I saw your email, thanks a bunch man, I really appreciate you sharing your scenario generator, that’s incredibly kind of you.  Now I just need to carve out some time to go through it.  I love your troop quality concept, we’ll see if you can keep anyone alive long enough for it to matter; that’s always my problem…  The attack on the German OP/LP went so well, surely we must be on the verge of seeing fight number two? 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

    Just Jack
    Participant

    Shaun,

    Excellent man, thanks so much for sharing!  I love the concept of your mini-campaign, and let me just say right up front that it should be at least 10 fights 😉  And definitely keep being selfish by keeping that Platoon Forward spreadsheet to yourself! 😉  Following a Soviet company???  Meh, I guess I can’t complain, I’m following a damn German unit.  I’m leaning towards doing what you’re doing, which is keeping them on the Eastern Front, that way the two sets of bad guys can beat up on each other! 😉

    Is troop quality something in your spreadsheet, or are you rolling it up separately, or something else?  I see later you’re tracking experience, a very interesting idea.  Great close combat in the forest to take out the listening post, especially after the 2nd Platoon was annihilated/routed by the German machine gun!

    Great stuff man, I can’t wait to see the next fight.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150496
    Just Jack
    Participant

    “Never sleep on an ambush.”  When the machine breaks down, we break down! Bag him!
    The fight was quick, but I figure I owe the knuckleheads a fight every once in awhile where they get the drop on the bad guys.  And yeah, the Marine Corps took draftees for a short time in both WWII  and the Vietnam War.

    And Vtsao is right about the ‘jail time or military’ recruitment as well, though my personal experience is it didn’t happen nearly as often as guys bragged about it, trying to make themselves sound hard I guess.  I even heard guys make that claim during peacetime!

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150450
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    0930 Local Time
    19 December 1965
    Phuoc Ha Valley, RVN
    Operation Harvest Moon

    Everyone knew the Operation was scheduled to wrap up tomorrow, then they’d return to Da Nang and get a rest as the Christmas truce kicked in. But the op wasn’t over yet; the squad was thankful for not having to stand watch the previous night, but now they were back to normal, back at it, having chowed down on some cold C-rats, brushed their teeth and shaved with some cold water, stomped in their holes, hoisted their packs, and set off into the jungle, searching for the enemy. They’d been humping for several hours already when the sound of gunfire and explosions could be heard in the distance. The Platoon called a halt and Sergeant Garcia signaled the squad to take a knee and face outboard, pulling security while he moved to Jackson and propped the radio handset between his shoulder and ear, listening and narrating for the squad. “Golf Company is on point and’s got contact… They got casualties, calling for fire and MEDEVAC… VC are attempting to flank, separate them from the rest of the battalion. Fox Company is moving right to head it off… Fox is in contact, taking casualties… Arty is pounding the VC in front of Golf, but they’re not pulling back… Air is on the way… VC in front of Fox broke contact, Fox will be on the move in about ten mikes… Air says they got dinks moving to the west, trying the other flank… Uh-oh…”

    Once again the ‘uh-oh’ was a call to action for the squad. Their platoon was being sent west to head off this new threat to the US flank, but it was a lot of ground to cover and so the three squads were assigned sectors, not really tied into each other. “The Lootenat assures me we’re not out there with our asses hanging in the wind, that Echo Company is regrouping and will be right behind us, we just gotta head the dinks off and hold’em until Echo arrives. Alright, let’s move!”


    Overview, north is up. There is a hardball road running north/south in the west (left), and you can just see the bend in a nearby river in the southeast (bottom right), while there’s a small village in the north-northwest (top center left), butted up against a low ridge in the west (far left). There’s a relatively large hill in the east (far right) that’s heavily wooded, and thick jungle dots the landscape, aside from the open areas covered by rice paddies. The Marines, harried on by Sergeant Garcia to head off the enemy, have the advantage here. They have hustled to their assigned location and taken up hasty defensive positions in hopes of ambushing the flanking Viet Cong, whom they expect to enter from the northeast (top right).


    The Marines (bottom left and bottom right) open fire on the Viet Cong (top center), catching the enemy crossing some rice paddies.


    But the VC quickly recover, returning fire with their AKs and an RPG.


    Which allows several VC to escape the kill zone, getting into the village (top right, center, and bottom left), where they work to flank the Marines.

    To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/02/two-brothers-fight-8.html

    Next fight coming up Sunday night or Monday morning.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150426
    Just Jack
    Participant

    John – Glad to hear it, and I had to let the bad guys re-roll, I already get accused of using ‘magic dice’ 😉  Fight #6 was actually one of my favorite fights of the entire first tour, and believe me when I say that I stacked the odds incredibly against Washington’s feats of heroics, which is why I had to give him the Navy Cross.  A few fights with ‘snipers’ in this tour, they never go well for the Marines…

    Darby – Indeed, and I look forward to your campaign in Que Son Valley. What time period/operation (s) are you looking at?

    Regarding the H-34, I actually ordered one from Germany (via EBay), but it’s now been in transit for 62 days…  I’m not sure what to do; I contacted the seller, which replied it was already delivered, but the seller also provided tracking data that clearly shows it hasn’t been.  My calls to them to follow up with Deutsche Post have fallen on deaf ears…

    Regarding the personal interactions and Marine banter, yes, I’ve definitely put a lot more of that type of stuff in these batreps then in any previous ones.    It’s something I’ve worried about; I’m hoping it pulls the reader deeper into the story, but my concern is that folks will read it and find it corny/cheesy.  The issue is that, yeah, it is a bit corny and cheesy, but what you have to understand is that 18 to 22-year old Marines actually talk like that!

    Or at least that was my experience, and writing these batreps has been a bit strange, in that a lot of the personal interaction stuff is coming from my own experiences, and I want to make sure I’m not ‘contaminating’ a Vietnam story with modern Middle East stuff, but it seems to be proving timeless.

    I’m sure someone will let me know if that’s not the case 😉  And yes, the Z and MJ thing actually happened in Iraq, but those aren’t the guys’ real names, of course.

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150318
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1530 Local Time
    18 December 1965
    Phuoc Ha Valley, RVN
    Operation Harvest Moon

    The operation began nine days ago, and it’s been a real bastard. The boys helo’ed into the west end of the Que Son Valley, got into a helluva ambush, watched some B-52 “Arc Light” bombing raids pound the hell out of the valley, then got to walk around for another week looking at abandoned VC base camps before somebody finally realized the Viet Cong had pulled out of the Que Son Valley and were now inhabiting the nearby Phuoc Ha Valley. III MAF committed 2/9 and had them enter one end of the valley whilst 2/7, whom the boys were still attached to, entered from the other end. Both battalions soon found themselves in the fight of their lives.

    The squad found itself at the tail end of the 2/7 formation; they could hear a helluva cacophony about a klick up ahead, and they tried to make sense of the chatter on the radio, but it was crazy. It seemed that the 8th Viet Cong Battalion had ambushed the Marine battalion and were trying to isolate HQ and Hotel Companies from Fox and Golf Companies, and 2/9 was in a very similar predicament. In any case, the boys were with Golf Company, which was ordered to move off to the in an attempt to outflank the VC defensive line and breakthrough to HQ and Hotel, but on the way their mission changed.

    The Platoon Sergeant, Staff Sergeant Dunn, quickly briefed the entire squad: a section of HQ Company was separated from the main body and found itself in a running gunfight heading west. They managed to break contact but they’re beat up pretty bad and they can hear Charlie out there in the jungle looking for them. They don’t know exactly where they’re at, other than ‘in the bend in the river,’ so you’re going to go out there and be their cavalry coming to the rescue. Golf is moving east-northeast, so the rest of the platoon is gonna be the bridge between them and you, now go get’em, cowboys.”


    Overview, north is up. The Marines will enter the table in the southwest (bottom left) and follow the river northeast (top right), searching for the separated HQ Company Marines. Sergeant Garcia figures the bend in the river referenced on the radio is at top right, and there’s a nice bamboo thicket that would be perfect to hide in if one were hurt and being pursued by the enemy. The Marines are in a narrow valley, with the jungle covered slope of Hill 304 present in the northwest (top left), and a finger of Hill 412 jutting northwest from the southeastern end (bottom right) of the area of operations.

    Time is of the essence, the squad needs to find the HQ Company Marines before the VC do, or they succumb to their wounds. And Sergeant Garcia really hopes the HQ Company Marines are hiding exactly where he thinks they are, because if the squad reaches the bend in the river and hasn’t found them, they’re going to have to split up and search both sides of the river simultaneously, which is a recipe for disaster.


    The initial deployment; “Alright, take five,” said Sgt Garcia. “This fork in the river is about 100 yards south of where I’d be hiding if I was those Marines. It’s awful quiet, not sure what to make of that. Maybe they found a place to hole up and the dinks can’t find’em. Maybe they’re all dead… Or maybe it’s a trap. Alright, break time is over, on your feet!”


    But no sooner had squad (top center) broke cover than a sniper’s rifle (bottom center) rang out…


    One fireteam pushes forward aggressively to flush out the sniper…


    As the other polices up its wounded and begins falling back across the river.

    To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/01/two-brothers-fight-7.html

    Next fight coming up Thursday.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150187
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1230 Local Time
    10 December 1965
    Que Son Valley, RVN
    Operation Harvest Moon

    While the boys were cavorting on Operations Red Snapper, Black Ferret, Blue Marlin I, and Blue Marlin II, the Viet Cong 1st Regiment had reconstituted itself, dodged various US/South Vietnamese sweeps, and concentrated in the Que Son Valley, which comprised the west end of the area of operations for Blue Marlin I. During Blue Marlin I, the Marines swept east of Route 1 and the ARVN swept west, extending their area of control out to Hiep Duc, where they established a Ruff-Puff base. The Marines pulled out on 12 November and pushed south, and that is when the 1st VC Regiment struck. On 17 November the ARVN base at Hiep Duc fell; the ARVN counterattacked the next day and by 19 November 1965 they had retaken Hiep Duc, killing 141 Viet Cong while losing 33 of their own.

    The two counterattacking ARVN battalions were pulled on 20 November to go deal with another emergency; the security situation in the Que Son Valley immediately deteriorated. III MAF met with ARVN commanders and began planning a joint operation to neutralize Viet Cong forces in the Que Son Valley. US Marine forces would be 3/3 and 2/7, while the South Vietnamese would contribute the ARVN 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment, the 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment, 1st Battalion, 6th Regiment, and the 11th Ranger Battalion.

    Operation Harvest Moon kicked off on 9 December 1965, and it was a disaster right from the start. The Viet Cong launched attacks on the ARVN 1/5 and 1/6; the latter was repulsed, but the former overran the ARVN infantry and killed their regimental commander. The ARVN 11th Ranger Bn was also ambushed and lost over a third of its strength in less than an hour. The US Marine 3/3 was lifted in and set off to assist them but ran into a battalion-strength strength defensive position that cost the lives of 11 Marines before the VC withdrew. The boys had gotten their first helicopter ride, landing further west with 2/7, and walked all day without seeing anything or firing a shot.

    Because things were going poorly, the US Marines committed 2/1, which attempted to land near Cam La, but the LZ was hot and the helos were shot up badly enough that only one rifle company (Fox Company) was landed and the remainder were put down in alternate LZs further west. The rest of the day was spent trying to link up and cost 20 more Marines killed in action (I would loved to have gamed this but I cannot find any H-34s in 15mm-1/100 scale… If someone can point me in the right direction I’d greatly appreciate it).


    Overview, north is up. The Marines are entering via the road at bottom center left, with the Song Ly Ly on their left flank and a couple hamlets on their right. The hamlets are separated by some rice paddies, and there are several more in the north end of the area. The squad is on the far left flank of the company, with the entire company on line (off camera to bottom right) extending to the southeast; one could argue the company should be in a bit more of a tactical stance, but they have a lot of ground to cover, a lot of areas to search, and so far they haven’t run into any contact, despite what happened to the ARVN yesterday and what 2/1 was currently going through on their LZs at Cam La.


    The Marines search a hamlet for signs of the Viet Cong.


    The search complete, they move out to search the next one.


    The Marines (top left) come under heavy fire at from VC at point-blank range (bottom right)!


    As VC in the northwest (bottom left) launch a rocket at the Marines (top right, with the VC element that initiated the ambush at top left).


    Marines are dropping like flies (casualty figures at center and bottom left)! With the bulk of the squad falling back under heavy fire, only Corporal Zamora and Washington bottom left hold their ground and return fire!


    The squad is disintegrating under intense enemy pressure, but one Marine refuses to leave his wounded brothers in the line of fire, dashing through heavy fire to retrieve Deleon, saving his life…


    And helping the rest of the squad get its marbles back, at least enough to make an orderly withdrawal.

    To see the actions that saw a squad member awarded the Navy Cross, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/01/two-brothers-fight-6.html

    Next fight coming soon.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Need Help with Mission Types #150186
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Thanks Ian, I just wish I had an easy (read: cheap) way to get my hands on the old comics (my favorite was, of course, “Fightin’ Marines”).

    Kyote – Crickets?

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150176
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Whirlwind John – Hey buddy, thanks, I appreciate it!  It was a very fun fight, and I thought the east end of the bridge was going to fall for sure, but the knuckleheads pulled it off, didn’t even have to cheat! 😉

    Darby – And scratch that company-level in 1970 idea; looks like the Corps didn’t have much going on at that point at all, that 3rd MarDiv had already packed up and left and 1st MarDiv was almost finished packing up.  I thought Marines were involved in the incursion into Cambodia, but it would appear that was entirely Army and ARVN.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150171
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Darby,

    Yeah man, I appreciate that.  It just felt like earlier versions of Nuts! really had the feel of a scared GI quivering in a ditch, pinned down by an MG-42, but in an effort to move the game up from squad to platoon level, and to have more of a ‘leadership’ affect (I believe Ed refers to it as “acting like a squad vice a gang,” or something to that effect), it just seems to have gotten a little bland.

    In any case, yes, five tours, with plenty of opportunity for fun and despair 😉  Maybe six?   I’m really latching onto this idea of one of the boys receiving a battlefield commission, and then, after a tour as a Platoon Commander/Platoon Sergeant, they are now Company Commander/1st Sergeant (or maybe Company Gunny) and I can play some company-sized fights for the incursion into Cambodia in 1970, which I’ve wanted to do for awhile.  Then they can do their advisor tour in ’71-’72.

    Yeah, let me get this down so I don’t forget:
    Oct 65-Oct 66: 1st Tour, FNGs with line unit
    Nov 66-Nov 67: 2nd Tour, CAP/squad leaders with line unit
    Dec 67-Dec 68: 3rd Tour, Recon*
    Jan 69-Jan 70: 4th Tour, Platoon level with line unit
    Mar 70-Mar 71: 5th Tour, Company level with line unit
    Apr 71-Apr 72: 6th tour, Advisors to VNMC Bn

    *I’ve had another crazy thought: during their tour with CAP and performing as a Regional QRF they respond way out west (Laotian border), save an Agency dude and a couple guys that seem like Marines (maybe even a guy they knew from their first tour) but aren’t, who also seem like they were rescued coming OUT of Laos, which couldn’t possibly be true, right?  Anyway, the boys are intrigued and ask some questions they shouldn’t, the Agency dude makes some vague promises, and the boys are gone.  Later, when they’re with Recon, the Agency dude shows back up and they end up going ‘off the books’ for a few, maybe six, months in Laos.  How’s that hit ya?  Too crazy?  We all now know that US service members were taken off the books and paid as ‘contractors’ in Laos, and one of the most famous CIA Case Officers leading the fight was a former Marine…

    Damn…  A very ambitious (as usual) concept…

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Need Help with Mission Types #150170
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    Thanks everyone, I greatly appreciate your thoughts on the matter!  It’s very helpful, I see several more missions to add to the menu, great stuff!

    I’ll likely be playing most of the games solo, so no issues there, I can draft up some cards/tables to handle the appropriate aspects.  The passage of friendly lines is obviously very applicable, but I’m not sure I have the nerve for it 😉  And I don’t want to get too in the weeds regarding a role-playing aspect, I want these fights to be light, quick, and action-packed.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150108
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Kyote – Negative Old Man, they’re kinda essential to the story! 😉

    Thomaston – Yeah, I just couldn’t seem to get him into the fights, and the little bit I did, he suffered horrible rolls that saw him… not doing very much. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I’ll say this: don’t worry, Corporal Little will be back in a big way.

    Darby – At some point I’d love to discuss FNG Reloaded and UCW with you; I have both, but it just feels like Nuts!/FNG has lost something with the attempt to get bigger and faster.  It’s become too abstract for me, or maybe I’m just misunderstanding.  In any case, yes, CAP was a cool concept, and the Corps did some cool things with it.  As a young man I had a friend who spent time on CAP in 1968-69 and was awarded a Silver Star, which he didn’t receive until 1989!  And Bing West’s ‘The Village’ was required reading when I was in the Corps, though I’m not familiar with David Sherman/’The Night Fighters.’

    Your concept is absolutely cool, but I don’t want to go too far down the role-playing/story-boarding path, I just want a backdrop to play some interesting fights against, with a different set of dynamics (different ruleset based on the concept of a bunch of irregulars being led by a few Marines against a bunch more irregulars).  Your concept of a campaign with map sectors/movement/activity is super cool, I just don’t have the time, too many other projects, and the need to keep this moving as I’ve now settled on a plan to do five total tours in Vietnam: 1) FNGs with a line unit, 2) CAP, 3) Recon, 4) back to a line unit, but bigger as the boys are more senior (maybe they’re both squad leaders in a platoon-sized game, or maybe one of them gets a battlefield commission and is the Platoon Commander and the other is the Platoon Sergeant), and finally, 5) advisors to a South Vietnamese Marine battalion.

    And the CAP will definitely be going offensive 😉  I’m thinking the the boys arrive at their CAP to find the previous Marine cadre wasn’t really pushing the locals to do anything (what do I call the locals?  Ruff-Puffs, CIDG, something else?), but the boys immediately institute an aggressive training regimen and begin aggressive patrolling and ambushing, you know, kickin’ the hornets’ nest, sort of force the locals to stand up and defend themselves.  There will be failures, I’m sure, but overall it goes well and the locals improve their skills and become experienced, are able to push their zone of control outward.  I’m really not in it just to sit back and guard the ramparts.

    Thanks everyone, I hope you’re enjoying the fights.

    V/R,
    Jack

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #150057
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Thanks for checking in Darby, and that’s pretty cool about Blackjack 33.  I’ve got some stories of my own about Chinese grenades.  And dud mortar rounds.  And RPGs 😉

    Regarding Mike Force, as far as I know Marines weren’t involved in anything along those lines, but I love the concept and honestly that’s kinda what’s driving me towards the boys spending part of their second tour with CAP.  I’m thinking they start at a sleepy at a sleepy village, arouse the ire of the local VC, fight it out, come out victorious, which paves the way for offensive operations in an expanded AO, maybe even become sort of a Regional QRF.

    Definitely way on the Mike Striker/SOG Hatchet side of things, but I’m here to have fun 😉 Whaddaya think?

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #149994
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    0130 Local Time
    18 November 1965
    Near Hoi An, RVN
    Operation Blue Marlin II

    Following the end of Operation Blue Marlin I, the boys re-boarded the amphibious shipping and sailed to Chu Lai, where 3/7 was offloaded. They went ashore and to a couple days of rest, before it was time to re-board the ships for Operation Blue Marlin II, this time with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines. They sailed south and landed 22 miles south of Da Nang on 16 November 1965, where they wheeled right and pushed north towards the confluence of the Song Truong Giang and Song Cua Dai (Song = River). The Marines have spent two days humping the bush east of the Song Truong Giang without contact, while two battalions of ARVN Rangers have done the same west of the river.

    The boys got a new squad leader, Sergeant Garcia, and the Platoon Sergeant, SSgt Dunn, briefed him on his squad’s mission to babysit a bridge tonight. “The bridge was previously guarded by an ARVN detachment, the squad wouldn’t be receiving any attachments, arty would be on call, though no one is expecting any trouble tonight. The Company Gunny was out there right now with a squad from 2nd Platoon. You now stand detached; go forth and do good things! And good luck, Sgt Garcia.”


    Overview, north is up. A tributary of the Truong Giang River runs north and south, with a few sampans moored at the northern end. There are hamlets present in the northeast (top right) and southwest (bottom left), a finger of Hill 275 protrudes south in the northwest (top left), there’s a rice paddy in the southeast, and thick patches of jungle dot the landscape. The bridge is not fortified, but there are sandbagged emplacements surrounding it.


    The Marines moved into the defensive positions; Sgt Garcia and Nelson took the small bunker at left, while 1st Fireteam went into the SE bunker (bottom right), 2nd Fireteam went into the West bunker (far left), and 3rd Fireteam went into the NE bunker (top right). The Marines settled in for the night, with each bunker going to 33% and the command bunker going to 50% (only two of them in the bunker).


    At exactly 0130 the cough of distant mortar tubes could be heard to the northeast, and approximately thirty seconds later five 82mm HE rounds rained down around the bridge’s defensive positions.


    Immediately following the mortar impacts, the VC 1st (off camera to left) and 3rd Squads (top right) launched rockets at the Marine defenders…


    On the east side of the bridge, a rocket slammed into the SW Bunker, suppressing Cpl Little and Nikki.


    And the Viet Cong come streaming out of the jungle to overwhelm the Marines defending the bridge!

    To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/01/two-brothers-fight-5.html

    Next fight coming soon.

    V/R,
    Jack

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