Wednesday, February 29, 2012

January 11th/January 20th - 2nd Squad Sees Action

I had a new player so we rolled up the 2nd Squad of our Platoon. We ended up with the following Stars:

Sgt. Samson
Rep: 5
Attributes: Unlucky, Marksman

Pvt. Walther
Rep: 5
Attributes: Quick Reflexes, Born Leader

Rest of squad:
Corporal Benton (Rep 3, Slow)
PFC. Siever on the M60 (Rep 3, Dumbass)
Pvt. Peters M79 (Rep 5, Lucky)
Pvt. Bama (Rep 3, Crack shot)

Yes, only 6 members (we rolled a 1 to see how large our squad was). On top of that we have an M60 with the Dumbass attribute - which means he won't activate roughly half the time when he otherwise would. If it's even possible, it looks like we were setup to have an ever tougher time than 1st Squad's previous mission.

January 11th - Campaign Turn 1
Our first mission was set in the first campaign turn, two days after 1st Squad's horrific outing. We made contact, and were assigned a Recon mission in the Interior. To our surprise the EAL ended up being 1 with a Support Level of 3! We had a free Helicopter mission we could call in and only had a single PEF and PC to deal with.

The PEF was roughly half the table distance away (in a Bamboo thicket) while the PC was at the far end of the table near a cluster of Rice Paddies.

The Rep 1 PEF lurks in the grove

With only 12 turns (plus the possibility of additional turns based on a D6 roll) we had to book it quickly to reveal both targets. Pushing through double canopy with a Slow NCO and a Dumbass M60 made for poor travel. It took us far too long to get into LOS of the PEF and we had no help as it did not move the entire game (due to its Rep/EAL of 1).

When we finally spotted the PEF, it ended up being just noise and no enemy contact.

Meanwhile, the PC did manage to move towards us, crossing the dikes of a Rice Paddy

Moving full speed we made contact with the PC, revealing a hooch in the distance and not an enemy to be found. Alas, there would not be enough time to get out and successfully complete the mission. While it's believed Lt. Steele's demotion was already in motion, this mission certainly did not aid his case as his Platoon continued to struggle to make a positive impact on the war.

January 20th - 2nd Campaign Turn

2nd Squad was given the opportunity to redeem itself after receiving bad intel and chasing shadows through the jungle earlier in the month. The second mission would be a Fight in the Coastal AO. EAL and SL were both 2 on this mission.

The squad emerged onto the battlefield in the middle of a bamboo grove, not far from an isolated group of buildings and Rice Paddies. Civillians were working the fields while the American squad pushed through their bamboo cover.

Due to the low EAL (2), we only had a single PEF on the table which deployed behind one of the hooches overlooking the Rice Paddies.

Moving as quick as possible to conserve time (12 turn limit again), the squad pushed hard towards the isolated remnant of civilization. The lone PEF proved rather active this go around, pushing forward into a Paddy and taking cover against one of the dikes.

When our platoon emerged at the edge of the bamboo forest, the PEF was revealed to be a lone Rep 5 NVA Sniper. He won the In Sight and utilized his trusty SKS as he dropped Savard (a fresh recruit). After a violent exchange of fire, Sgt. Samson pushed to the front and unleashed a wall of 5.56mm rounds cutting the lone NVA gunman down.

We confirmed the kill and then high-tailed it home. All seemed well until Benton tripped a booby trap in the bamboo grove, resulting in a large explosion that also claimed Johnson's life (another FNG replacement).

Rough outing again as we lost 3 men and killed a lone NVA sniper.

Random Thoughts

I'm digging FNG2T. I'm really liking the unpredictability of the enemy and there's a palpable tension on the table when encountering PEFs and rolling up Random Events.

It is worth noting that these two missions made me mildly concerned with the EAL system. By rolling 2D6 and taking the lowest, you will have a 1 or 2 EAL more than 50% of the time. With that low an EAL it seems like it would be impossible to string together successful missions with any regularity. Most missions require you to kill or capture the enemy in order to score VP. You need a minimum of 8 VP to secure a normal victory, otherwise the mission result is bad or horrible.

When the EAL is so low it makes it more likely that the PEF is going to be either nothing or possibly a PC. PC's are more likely than PEF's to have no enemy forces.

Also, lower EAL means less PEFs on the table at start. Which makes it easier to survive but again, harder to score VPs since there are less enemies to kill.

I'm not saying this is a problem, just an observation at this point. We're not gaming 'Nam with the expectation to win the war so no complaints here.

Friday, February 24, 2012

FNG 2nd Tour Campaign - Intro and 1st Mission

Long time between posts but I'm ressurecting this blog to record our 20mm Vietnam campaign using Two-Hour Wargame's FNG 2nd Tour ruleset. This campaign will feature several different players so we decided on a Cooperative format, running multiple missions per Campaign Turn (bi-monthly).

Our beleagured Platoon led by Lt. Steele (Competent hardass with a Rep of 5) belongs to the 4th Infantry Division, 2nd Brigade, operating in II Corps. Generating our HQ section and 1st Squad we ended up with a variety of Reps. This session in particular featured 2 Stars in 1st Squad:

Sgt. Cooper
Rep: 5
Attributes: Swimmer, Nerves of Steel

Pfc. Samuel
M60 Gunner
Rep: 5
Attributes: Born Leader, Agile

The rest of the squad was built as follows:
Corporal Tyrene (Rep 5, Crackshot, DEROS 5)
Private Thump - M79 (Rep 5, Stealthy, DEROS 7)
Private McDonald - M79 (Rep 3, Hard As Nails, DEROS 12)
Private Jonesy (Rep 3, Shortsighted, DEROS 10)
Private Yardbird (Rep 3, Marksman, DEROS 7)

Spoiler - don't get too attached.

We picked up on June 8th, making enemy contact in our first bi-monthly campaign turn. Our mission ended up being in the Coastal AO. An ARVN unit operating not far from our FSB had come in contact with the enemy - suffering heavy casualties. Hunkering down near a small village, they awaited extraction by helos. Our squad was air-lifted in where several bodies were evac'd. 5 wounded remained and our 1st squad was baby-sitting. We set up in a hooch near a clearing that would serve as our LZ.

Sgt. Coop, Samuel, and Jonsey set up in a hooch overlooking the clearing

Things started off bad and just got worse. Support Assets assigned to the mission were nil as our Support Level was a 1 (ouch). This meant calling in any type of support would cost us 7 VPs minimum and even contacting the support could be problematic. Even worse, the Enemy Activity Level (EAL) in the area was 5! This was going to be a rough go for our first mission and introduction to FNG.

We huddled the wounded together and prepared for a long afternoon waiting for the damn choppers.

It did not take long for the enemy to swarm our position. Cpl. Tyrene and Mcdonald setup in a forward position and would make contact with the enemy first. The first PEF encountered turned out to be nothing but an animal rustling in the bushes, and the second was an enemy constructed log bunker which appeared abandoned. When the third PEF moved into LOS on the third turn our boys shit their fatigues. A wall of Charlie appeared at the edge of the bamboo grove, and all hell broke loose.

After a massive exchange of fire, casualties litter both sides.

The MFVC platoon returns fire with unrelenting fury

We gave them hell but they tore us up bad. As American blood stained the grass, we were forced to book it out of the LZ on foot as we could not wait for the Hueys. GI KIAs would include:

-Cpl Tyrene

With half the squad exterminated and the mission a complete failure, morale was low. Going on a bender back at base, word would eventually reach 1st Squad that command was so enraged with the Platoon's performance that Lt. Steele was being reassigned. Not a proud day for the United States Military.