Saturday, 4 March 2017

Letters From Vietnam

I have finally gotten around to bringing together all the Chain of Command - DMZ rule changes into one document.


Click on the attached link to download the PDF from dropbox.

Chain of Command - DMZ

I hope you enjoy.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Going up the Country.

Two Chain of Command DMZ Vietnam after action reports

Below are two Chain of Command NAM after action reports using the VC Local Force Guerilla forces and rules.

VC Local Force Guerilla Rules

Key to troops and markers in pictures:
  • All Platoon HQ and squad leaders bases are marked with a white base.
  • All team leaders are marked with grey bases.
  • All other troops are marked with black bases.
  • Shock markers are coloured Yellow for 1pt, Orange for 2pts and Red for 5pts.
  • U.S Jump off points are marked as coloured smoke.
  • VC jump off points are marked with tunnel entrances.

Notes on Terrain

  • Dry: The paddy field counts as open ground for cover and line of sight. Treated as open for foot movement and Heavy Going for Vehicles.
  • Infantry units up against dikes gain hard cover.
  • Vehicles treat dikes as solid obstacles.
  • Vehicles crossing the dikes count any hits as weakest armour.

  • This was treated as woods per the main book rules.

Both after action reports are for the following patrol scenario.
(This scenario is an adaptation of the Chain of Command - Patrol scenario)

This game is based on patrolling actions. The aim of patrolling was to drive the Viet Cong from their jungle sanctuaries and camps and to remove them from areas where they could exert influence over the local people.

Both sides enter the table at one single point, dicing to see which of their two entry points they use. On a 1, 2 or 3, their Patrol Markers may be deployed on the table edge at Point 1. On a 4, 5 or 6, this will be at Point 2. Each player chooses whether to start the game with three or four Patrol Markers. At the end of the Patrol Phase both players will place three Jump‐Off Points on the table.

For support roll 1D6. On a roll of 1 or 2, both sides may select support from List 1 (amended
depending on relative Platoon Strength Ratings).
On a roll of 3 or 4, they may select support from List 2. On a roll of 5 or 6, List 3 is used. Neither
side may select a preliminary barrage, entrenchments or static defences as their choices. (This does not include the VC MMG Bunker)

To win a victory, one side must force his opponent to withdraw from the table, either voluntarily or due to a reduction in his Force Morale, whilst keeping his own Force Morale at 3 or greater. If neither side achieves this the result will be a draw.
The VC Local Force may also win by achieving a Political  victory which will also override a draw result.
The Free World Forces player will be the active player in the first Phase of the game.

Both forces were kept the same for each game.
VC Defender - Support List 10
U.S Attacker - Support List 3


Platoon Force Rating
Regular: -7

Command Dice: 4 +1 Different Coloured dice counting 5-6 only.

Platoon Headquarters
Commander (Superior Junior Leader) with SMG
Deputy Leader (Junior Leader) with SMG.

27 Guerrillas armed with SKS

The Local Force VC player can group these in units as they choose prior to the first phase using the following restrictions:
Min size of a unit - 3 men
Max size of a unit - 12 men

For the purposes of the rules each team counts as a ‘Leaderless Section’ activating on a Command Dice result of ‘2’, unless activated by a Leader

List 1
2 x Exchange one Guerrilla's SKS for a RPD LMG (Counts as 1 man crew)

List 2
1 x Booby Trap
1 x Sniper Team

List 4
1 x 0.30 Cal MMG 5 crew in a Bunker (Hard Cover)


Regulars: 0

Command Dice: 5

Rifle Platoon HQ
1 x Lieutenant Senior Leader with M16
1 x Platoon Sergeant Senior Leader with M16

Rifle Squad x 2
1 x Squad Leader, with M16

Fireteam 1
1 x Team Leader, with M16
1 x Grenadier, Pistol .45 cal, M-79
2 x Rifleman, with M16

Fireteam 2
1 x Team Leader, with M16
1 x Grenadier, Pistol .45 cal, M-79
3 x Rifleman, with M16

List 1
1 x Medic

List 2
1 x 1 M60 GPMG with 2 crew

The After Action Reports
I'll let the pictures do most of the talking with additional comments above each picture.

Table Layout
The table layout remained the same for both games with both sides commencing their deployments from the same table side for each game.  The layout was designed to reflect a local village area.

The VC edge seen on the left and the U.S on the right.

View from VC table edge.

View approaching the village from the U.S table edge.

View of the Village from the U.S table edge.

Village huts closest to the VC table edge.  The brown area is treated open terrain.

Village looking towards U.S table edge.

Here piggy, piggy, piggy.

Game 1
End of patrol Phase. The VC pushed their patrol markers hard down their left flank in an attempt to limit the U.S deployment.  This was made easier by their ability to move 14 inches a turn.

Jump off points are placed.  The U.S spread their JOPs evenly.  The VC place theirs around the village.  With Local Knowledge they also knew they had the ability to move a Jump Off Point (JOP) up to a further 18 inches at the end of the JOP phase.

The VC uses Local Knowledge at the end of the JOP phase and move the JOP on their left flank into the Rice Paddy hoping to pressure this area of the table.

In the early phases the U.S deploy a 2 man scout unit on their left flank who move forward in an attempt to provide a safe passage for the rest of the squad.

Several phases in a row allow the U.S scout team to aggressively patrol moving to within 4 inches of the VC JOP denying it's use for deployment mindful all the time of the potential threat of booby traps (Moving at tactical speed).  The U.S also deploy the rest of this squad who also threaten to flank the village from the left.  The appearance of the U.S prompts the VC to open fire from a concealed bunker located near the village (This Unit has the ability to deploy using the normal ambush rules without requiring the use of a CoC Dice).  Fortunately for the U.S casualties are light.

The U.S scouts have shut down the ability to deploy from the JOP on the left of screen however the Scouts and U.S are exposed to the VC Machine Gun Nest.

On the U.S right flank similar tactics were employed with aggressive patrolling being the key helped by multiple phases.   The U.S forward scouts manage to deny the use of the VC left flank JOP and deploy their second squad placing the M60 team on overwatch.

Unable to deploy troops from two of his three JOPs the VC decide to deploy a squad in the village to isolate the first U.S squad and wipe out the Scout team opening up the ability to widen their deployment area.

A VC sniper also deploys on the other side of the village and attempts to cause problems on the U.S right flank.  His shot flies wide and unfortunately for him he is spotted by the M60 team on overwatch who open fire killing the sniper.  The U.S scouts locate a booby trap and their movement is stalled as they deal with the threat.  (The VC attempted to delay them from securing the JOP however as the scouts were moving at tactical speed their ability to detect the booby trap was increased).

View of the positions from the VC table edge. The U.S squad on the VC right flank has thrown smoke grenades towards the Machine Gun nest so they can quickly move away before becoming pinned down whilst the VC squad move to flank them.

The VC deploy another Squad off screen to the left to isolate and destroy the U.S squad.

Death Card dropped where the sniper used to be.

The VC squad starts to swing right after taking several casualties from the U.S near the paddy fields.

The U.S end the turn and capture two JOPs.

In the next few phases the VC suffer casualties to 2 of their leaders, one being killed as well as one of their squads being wiped out.  Their morale finally reaches 0 and they melt away into the surrounding bushes.

Victory to the U.S.  Aggressive patrolling added significantly by several phases in a row allowed the U.S to shut down two out of three of the VC JOPs.  This dramatically took away their options for deployment allowing the U.S to hem them in and break them. 

Game 2
Terrain, Forces and Scenario remain the same.

For this scenario the VC rolled the Higher Morale and had first movement of Patrol Markers.  Determined not to lose control of this village they chose three Patrol markers.  With the ability to move their Patrol Markers 14 inches they pushed aggressively down the width of the table to restrict the U.S deployment.

The VC placed their JOPs towards their right flank.

Using Local Knowledge they moved one of their JOPs further forward to utilise the Heavy cover of the Paddy Bunds.

Once again the U.S start by pushing a detached scout unit forward in the hope of weeding out the enemy.

The VC respond by immediately deploying a large squad of VC behind the Paddy Field to sweep around the U.S flank threatening the U.S JOP.  The U.S respond by deploying a  unit on their right flank in order to push on the VC deployment area.

The VC look to strike early and hard before the U.S can gain the superiority in firepower.  They deploy another squad and move quickly to outflank the U.S.

They also deploy their Machine Gun Nest from Ambush firing at the U.S unit attempting to flank their force.

A consecutive phase sees the VC assault the U.S scout team also denying the U.S the use of the JOP for deployment.  With  two casualties the U.S morale takes a hit.  The VC have well and truly taken the initiative in this one.

The U.S deploy their second squad on the hill and both squads open fire on the VC near the Rice Paddy breaking that squad.  The VC sniper appears and causes havoc on the U.S squad on the hill wounding two leaders (including the U.S Platoon Leader) whilst the VC squad on their right moves into the cover of the surrounding bushes.

The U.S Force Morale takes a significant hit as the VC snipers accurate fire picks off the U.S Leaders.

The U.S fire on the Machine Gun Nest in an attempt to supress it's fire on the  U.S squad on the hill.

The VC sniper fires again causing another Leader Casualty to the U.S squad on the hill.  This reduces the U.S morale to 3.

With U.S Morale down to 3 the U.S know that the VC have done enough damage to their forces to allow for an attempted Political Victory. As a result they decide to move quickly to cut off the VC from withdrawing.  Moving at 2D6 they set off an unseen booby trap (this is played at any time in the Free World players turn as an interruption by the VC player and can be spotted based on the movement of the Free World player.  Moving at 2D6 the booby trap is spotted on a roll of 5+). 
The booby trap causes three casualties pinning the U.S squad and reducing their morale to 0.

Victory to the VC.  Once again aggressive play paid dividends with the VC inflicting enough casualties on the patrolling U.S force to cause a break in morale.

I am looking to adapt further scenarios that hopefully reflect guerilla actions in Vietnam.

Any questions, comments or suggestions welcomed.


Thursday, 22 December 2016

Farmers by Day, Soldiers By Night

Rules for VC Local Force and Guerilla Actions

VC Local Guerrillas
"These were the archetypal 'farmers by day, soldiers by night', comprising those either too old or too young to fight in the regular VC units and dressed as local peasant farmers.
Whilst their primary activities consisted of intelligence gathering, sniping and emplacing booby traps, these troops were employed in the support of VC Regional and Main Force units operating in their locality as porters, scouts and guides.
Force size was dependent on the size of the local village or hamlet and ranged from a single 3 man cell to a platoon of 3-4 squads. Generally operated at the squad level of 12 men."

The following can be used for games involving any guerilla style actions and are suited to Village Patrol/Policing actions, Convoy and other Ambushes etc.

NB: At this stage rules for Civilians interactions are still required.


Irregular Force
Local Force VC use the Irregular Rules.

(See Irregular Rules reproduced courtesy Happy Wanderers Abyssinian War Rules at the bottom of this article)

The default Local Force VC motivation starts on Motivated (4).
NB: The Irregular Force rules do not apply to crew served weapons which are treated the same as in the main rules.

Local Knowledge
Allows VC player to either deploy one unit an additional 6” further from a Jump-Off point than would normally be the case OR to move a jump-off point up to 18” in any direction, so long as it is further than 12” from any enemy troops or Jump-Off Point.

Our Land
VC Patrol Markers use 14” as both their move distance and the distance from a friendly Patrol Marker within which they must remain.
Other than this additional 2” they operate as normal Patrol Markers.

Di Di Mau
Local Force VC Leaders can spend a Chain of Command pip (not dice) to leave the table with a unit which can include themselves in contact with a JOP provided they are outside of line of sight of any enemy within 12 inches. This can be done before or after movement. They can then re enter at another jump off point (as for a normal unit placement) in a subsequent phase.

Poor Shots
All Local Force VC units including crew served weapons and snipers suffer a +1 penalty to all shooting to hit.

Platoon Force Rating
Regular: -7

Command Dice: 4 +1 Different Coloured dice counting 5-6 only.

Platoon Headquarters
Commander (Superior Junior Leader) with SMG
Deputy Leader (Junior Leader) with SMG.

27 Guerrillas armed with SKS

The Local Force VC player can group these in units as they choose prior to the first phase using the following restrictions:
Min size of a unit - 3 men
Max size of a unit - 12 men

For the purposes of the rules each team counts as a ‘Leaderless Section’ activating on a Command Dice result of ‘2’, unless activated by a Leader

VC Local Force Support List
Figures in brackets denote max allowed

List 1
Entrenchments for one Team
Junior Leader armed with SMG (Must be attached to one unit) (3)
Exchange one Guerrilla's SKS for a RPD LMG (Counts as 1 man crew) (3)
Exchange one Guerilla's SKS for a RPG-2 (6)
Hand Grenades for one squad

List 2
Roadblock (1)
CoC dice (1)
Booby Trap (1)
Sniper Team (2)

List 3
0.30 Cal MMG 5 crew (1)
57 mm Recoilless Rifle team, 5 men (1)

List 4
0.30 Cal MMG 5 crew in a Bunker (Hard Cover) (1)

List 5
Regular Main Force Infantry Squad with Junior Leader (1)
(Uses Regular Force Rules however is subject to Poor Shots)
Main Force List

New Details Explained

0.30 Cal MMG in a Bunker
Tri-Pod Mounted MMG.  Treated as Hard Cover including from above.
This can be deployed using the rules for Ambushes without requiring the use of a Chain of Command dice.

Booby Trap
Played as an interrupt on a team or vehicle moving. The booby trap is detected on a 3+ if team was moving at tactical speed, 5+ at normal speed and not spotted when running.  Elites get a +1 to their roll.  Unit immediately stops where it is when played and may take no further action this phase.  If it is undetected it goes off and any unit affected is then temporarily pinned until end of it’s next activated phase (unless it is pinned due to sufficient shock then this is treated as normal).
Fire power is D3+3 for both AP and HE.  Treated as per normal shooting rolling for any hits and then effect  (any other teams within four inches may be affected) treating target as in the open.  Shock is doubled.

The following rules also apply for any games against a Local VC Guerilla force.

Rules of Engagement
Free world forces may not call for mortars until fired upon by enemy.

Changes to Morale
Free World Forces will roll on the Morale Table under Team Wiped Out for each casualty suffered.  Note any failure will affect the Irregular Motivation Table.

Political Victory
The Local VC Forces may achieve a Political Victory by withdrawing all on table units from the table in any battle where their morale remains above 0 and the Free World Forces Morale is 3 or Less.  They can also win scenarios under normal victory conditions

Withdrawing from the Table
In order to retire from the field a Local Force VC unit may leave via a friendly jump off point or any table edge provided no enemy units are within 12 inches and line of sight.

Each unit leaving the game this way via a JOP or table edge will not return and will roll with the risk of dispersing on a 5+ if from a friendly JOP or 4+ if from any table edge.

If a unit disperses a roll is made against section wiped out on the morale table.
Snipers and immobile teams may withdraw from where they are deployed with the risk of dispersing on a 5+ if there is no enemy within 12 inches and line of sight or 4+ if there is enemy within 12 inches and line of sight.


The following Free World Forces are used. 
Each Force starts as 2 squads or sections.
Support is per their lists.

A U.S force may take a Medic or a Kit Carson Scout from List 1.

Kit Carson Scout
A Kit Carson scout adds a +1 to any roll made to spotting a booby trap.  NB: This still has no effect on a team running with 3d6.  A Kit Carson Scout also forces an Ambush to deploy further than 10” from any infantry unit it is attached to.
If taken as a support option the Kit Carson scout is attached to a unit for the game. If the team is part of a squad then any of the squads teams and attached Leaders within command of the team he is attached to also benefits from his ability.

Regulars: 0

Command Dice: 5

Rifle Platoon HQ
1 x Lieutenant Senior Leader with M16
1 x Platoon Sergeant Senior Leader with M16

Rifle Squad x 2
1 x Squad Leader, with M16

Fireteam 1
1 x Team Leader, with M16
1 x Grenadier, Pistol .45 cal, M-79
2 x Rifleman, with M16

Fireteam 2
1 x Team Leader, with M16
1 x Grenadier, Pistol .45 cal, M-79
3 x Rifleman, with M16

Regulars: -1

Command Dice: 5

Rifle Platoon HQ
1 x Lt, Senior Leader with M16
1 x Platoon Sergeant, Senior Leader with L1A1 SLR

Two sections each of
1 x Corporal, Junior Leader with M16

Scout group
1 x Scout with M16
1 x Scout with L1A1 SLR

Gun Group
1 x Lance Corporal, Team Leader L1A1 SLR
1 x GPMG M-60 with 2 Crew

Rifle Group
1 x Rifleman with L1A1 SLR and M-79
3 x Rifleman with L1A1 SLR

Courtesy Happy Wanderers Abyssinian War Rules
Abyssinian Crisis Rules

This section attempts portrays the psychological factors of non militarised “irregulars”. The following rules pertain specifically to troops with the Irregular trait.

Unit Size
Units of Irregulars are considered to conform to certain sizes. This affects the outcome from the effects of fire and to a certain degree combat. Units are either; Small (1-6 figures), Medium (7-15 figures) or Large (16+ figures).

All irregulars may move 3D6 suffering no penalty from the effects of Shock caused by such movement.

Irregular warriors react to battlefield environments based on their current motivation. Events produce
good or bad outcomes that affect the current motivation of an irregular force. These events are the
same as those listed on the Force Morale table i.e. when something bad happens to your opponent (his force morale drops) this results in your irregular force motivation increasing, however motivation increases only if enemy Force Morale suffers a drop. Some specific scenario events or objectives may also be causes of changing motivation.
Irregular forces start the game with their motivation level set by rolling 1D6, applying any modifiers as per any scenario or army list. The levels of motivation are from bad to good; wavering,
unmotivated, reluctant (1), committed (2-3), motivated (4-5), highly motivated (6).
This is done at the same time their force morale die roll is conducted. The final score determines initial motivation.
Motivation is kept track of by using the Irregular Motivation Track (visible to both sides) or a 6-sided cube suitably marked, with motivation increasing or decreasing as described above.

Irregular warriors react differently to the effects of fire. They may shrug off a deadly fusillade or be quite badly affected by barely effective shooting.
The normal use of tracking Shock in Chain of Command is not used. Whenever an irregular unit
receives shock and/or losses from fire it rolls on the following table to determine an immediate outcome; no shock is recorded, but losses are removed before determining unit size in the test. An enemy Section that fires all its Teams at the same target assesses all its fire effects against it at one time.
When an Irregular unit suffers 2 (small units), 4 (medium units) or 6 (large units) shock from firing and combat (counting each kill as two shock for the purposes of testing), cross reference the platoon
Command Dice rating with the size of the unit taking the hits.

Close Combat
Irregular’s motivation affects their close combat ability. Add 2D6 to their close combat score
for each level above Committed and subtract 2D6 for each level below Reluctant (as shown on the Irregular Force Morale and Motivation Track). The instant either of these conditions no longer exists the unit has no D6 modifiers.
Note – the shock received as a result of a combat result (p60) may cause a test on the Irregular table
above, but only if the irregular unit loses – it ignores shock if it wins the combat.

Leaders & Pin Effects
An attached leader can rally units from one morale condition to another. He does so by using 1 Command Initiative point when activated and rolling 1D6 per one expended (all at once). On a score of 6 the morale of a unit increases i.e. from Broken to Pinned, or Pinned to No Effect (it is possible for to go from broken to no effect in one phase).
Note – Being pinned can be a temporary state in a Turn as irregular morale waxes and wanes with only their current motivations accounted for by the roll of the dice and their leader’s ability to motivate.

Broken and Pinned
Broken and Pinned units, with or without attached leaders, may roll on the Irregular table to remove the effects of being Pinned or Broken in their phase. They may do so on their own command dice, however they must apply any better or worse result rolled (not the same result), unless they have a leader attached (who negates any worse result outcome).

End of Turn
When an end of turn occurs for any reason motivation returns to (4) ‘Committed’ as enthusiasm wanes or panic passes.

Pinned units roll a dice on the Irregular Fire & Combat effect table.
If they score a [✓] then they may remove any Pin markers the unit may have.
If they roll pinned [P] or [B] Broken they remain Pinned.

Broken units roll a dice on the Irregular Fire & Combat effect table. 
If they score a [✓] then they may remove any Pin markers the unit may have.
If they roll pinned [P] they remain Pinned.
If they roll broken [B] then they are removed from play.

Two After Action reports to appear soon.

Any thoughts, comments or further suggestions welcomed.