Saturday, July 7, 2012

March 12th: A New Beginning

The 5th campaign turn, 3rd in game month, resulted in Coop's squad having their precious rack time interrupted. They were now under Lt. Moore's command, Schaeffer's replacement. Moore had a reputation as a hard ass and possessed this aura of passion and fervor that the men were not used to. Their immediate reaction was shock, later it would turn to respect.

Anyway, R&R was interrupted to radio chatter from the nearby coast. A recon patrol from a 2nd Company squad ran into a small NVA force and engaged. Thanks to several well timed tac-air strikes, they pushed the larger enemy group back, forcing them to flee up the coastline North.

Sgt. Cooper immediately knew this enemy force had to be linked to the NVA activity in the Highlands they had spotted the previous month. When his squad was ordered to board Huey's and immediately deploy, he was salivating. 1st squad would chopper up the coast and cut off the retreating NVA (Scenario - Firefight)

The table consisted of single canopy jungle and bamboo on the Eastern side, with large sprawling rice paddy fields on the Western edge. Several hooches littered the area of operations and civillians were working in their fields, oblivious to the distant gunfire so many had gotten used to.

View from the Eastern edge. a PEF lurks in the jungle nearby.



The Western side of the table (facing South). Cooper's squad deploys against the rice paddy berm in the foreground.



A second PEF is hightailing it towards the American squad.



Cooper was not the man leading this mission. It would be Platoon Sgt. White, who was a universal mystery to the squad. No one knew where he was from, what he did in his previous life, and where his allegiances lie. He served Lt. Schaeffer but he seemed to distance himself from the inept CO and the men didn't know how to square him up.

(White is Rep 3, which caused us some activation problems)

Relying on patience, a virtue not often displayed by his men, Cooper had the GI's sit tight. Sgt. White decided it would be best to approach a male civillian on the opposite side of the paddy in an attempt to coax information about the approaching enemy and where they were headed. He took Jonesy and two new grunts with him (Jonesy was the final remaining member of the original squad, besides Stars Sgt. Cooper and Pfc. Samuel).

Approaching the civillian, no information could be gleaned. Meanwhile, the PEF's were approaching fast, the one in the Eastern Jungle splitting into two. Sgt. White threw the civillian underneath the raised floor of his hooch and settled his detachment down. Jonesy gave the men a chuckle as he spotted a Vietnamenese villager enter some kind of tunnel across the field, despite his poor vision he was positive what he saw.

While Sgt. Cooper took his detachment towards the tunnel entrance, the rest of the squad locked and loaded, ready for action.

The two PEFs emerged from the Eastern jungle, resulting in a 3 man Political Officer team, and a 3 man AK-47 element. Pfc. Samuel opened up with his M60, cutting the NVA down before they could find adequate cover. Cooper sent two men up to cut around the flank and make sure they were dead. This resulted in some swift close combat, grenades being tossed, and several NVA captured without a single scratch on an American.

North Vietnamese regulars scream for aid as their blood coats the jungle. Four prisoners would be taken.

Meanwhile, Sgt. White took his men into the tunnel entrance to investigate (our first actual occurrence using the tunnel rules).

White would prove himself, emerging with an enemy radio and a blood-stained bayonet (acquiring 13 VPs!). However, he had split from Jonesy and one of the new recruits and wasn't sure what happened to them. It would turn out that the two ran into a nasty punji stake trap. When they made it back to the surface, Jonesy lasted only a minute or two before succumbing to his punctured lung. The squad would fall 3 VP short of a Major victory. Damn them all for killing Jonesy.

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