Saturday, 22 July 2017

Que Sera Sera

A Chain Of Command - DMZ After Action Report

The following is an After Action Report from a game played on 18 July 2017.

This post has been named after a song by Lance-Corporal Norman Rowe Royal Australian Armoured Corps 3rd Cavalry Regiment.

Normie Rowe Que Sera Sera

ANZACs vs Main Force VC  (1966)
Secure the Village.
Scenario 6 - Attack on an Objective.
Players could win via the scenarios main objectives or via the alternate objectives.

This game was based on 'The Great Rice Hunt" scenario from Too Fat Lardies Charlie Don't Surf.
The scenario is a village sweep action and uses the additional objectives listed in the
There is more than one way to skin a Tiger article I wrote earlier.  I feel that adding these additional objectives to your NAM games adds another level.

"The Great Rice Hunt" was used  as the basis for the terrain in the game.

The river was left off of the table however the Rice Paddies were treated as flooded.
The majority of the table was knee height grass with this being treated as light cover when stationary but open when engaged whilst moving.
The wooded areas were treated as 'Primary Jungle' with a variable line of sight of d6 + 6 inches and heavy cover.
No vehicle movement was permitted in the Wooded areas unless via a road or through the Rice Paddies.
Rice Paddy bunds were treated as heavy cover.
The small clump of trees  in the middle of the table near the village was impassable and block line of sight.
Buildings were light cover but would be destroyed if hit by HE.

A view of the table below.

All is quiet in the village.

The Forces
ANZACs (1966)
Morale - 10
5pts of support.

Support taken - M113 0.50cal Mounted with Jnr Leader.

Main Force VC (1966)
Morale - 9
3pts of support

Support taken - Barbed Wire, Local Knowledge.

The Patrol Phase

 The ANZACs (blue markers) started the Patrol phase rolling for two free moves.  There aim was to push as far forward as possible to restrict the area the VC could use for deployment in order to reduce the chances of being isolated and ambushed.

The VC (red markers) had control of the village and would attempt to outflank and isolate the ANZACs through the use of Local Knowledge.

Deploying Jump off Points (JOP)
The ANZAC jump off points (coloured smoke) lined the Jungle near their side of the table.  As the M113 would need to deploy near a road a safe option was taken with the jump off points being placed at the edge of the Jungle.

The VC jump of points (tunnel entrances) were spread across the table with the main jump off point (red counter) being in the village.

View of both sides jump off points.

The VC place their barbed wire and use Local Knowledge to move their jump off point forward to pressure the ANZAC right flank.

First Turn
The ANZACs have the first phase and roll 6,5,5,4,2.  They decide to follow the words of a wise man.

Next phase went to the VC.  They roll 2 sixes for another phase and decide on a bold move to bait the ANZACs by deploying a squad on their left flank on overwatch against the Paddy Bund (hard cover).

This move as early as it is turns out to be a game changer.  The Next phase the ANZACs manage a great roll of 3,3,3,2,1 and use the dice to deploy all three sections and the APC unloading everything they have on the VC squad.

The VC squad under fire waits patiently for the APC to arrive before deciding to fire back on over watch.

"Sloppy Joes" appearance brings the VC to life and the RPG on overwatch takes aim and fires at the M113 wildly missing the target.

Next Phase is the VC.  They rally shock attempting to fire again at the APC next phase.  (In the Cold War Supplement units stay on over watch until ordered differently or the end of the turn.  They may not shoot in their phase if they shot on over watch).  Knowing they won't be able to shoot in their phase they wait in hope that they will still be around to end the M113.

The gamble fails and all the ANZAC units open up again on the VC causing more casualties and shock.  The VC low on numbers and high on shock attempt to move into the cover of the jungle to avoid becoming pinned.  They roll low and just make it into the edge of the jungle but still in line of sight.

The ANZACs unload again this time with only 2 sections as the VC have managed to break line of sight to the third.  This is enough to kill the squad leader and suppress the VC squad causing several morale tests.

The VC looking to exact revenge deploy a detached RPG team via ambush (using a Chain of Command Dice) and fire at the APC killing the driver and placing 2 shock on the vehicle.  (As strange as it sounds this was very lucky for the ANZACs as they made 2 saves from 2 dice reducing the net hits to 2 avoiding completely blowing up).  Without it's driver it must spend 2 activated phases before it may move.  It is in a serious predicament.

The ANZACs retaliate finishing off the VC squad at the edge of the Jungle causing another Morale test.

The VC deploy the detached RPG team onto the table looking to finish the ANZAC APC.

There second shot is again on target and finishes the M113 once and for all.  The ANZACs take a 5pt morale hit as "Sloppy Joe" blows up in huge explosion that causes casualties on the nearby section.

The ANZACs look to move up towards the village.  They place the centre and right flank sections on over watch and move towards the rise on their left flank.

This forces the VC into action who deploy a squad on their right on over watch anticipating the ANZACs sending a unit to engage the threat.

The ANZACs continue up the ridge on their left and begin to advance their unit in the centre towards the village.

This proves too much of a target for the final VC squad who deploy in the jungle to the rear of the village and open fire on the ANZACs.  Little damage is done and the ANZACs return fire from their right flank from the unit on over watch killing the VC squad leader.  This reduces the VC morale.

The ANZAC section in the centre halt their advance and fire on the VC inflicting more casualties.

The VC deploy their Senior Leader to spark the VC squad in the jungle to the rear into action.  He rallies shock and orders the VC to fire again on the ANZACs on the centre causing a casualty and shock.
The ANZAC section of the right fires from overwatch wounding the VC Senior Leader reducing  the VC morale to below 3.

With the VC squad in the jungle shattered, morale below 3 and a squad isolated and flanked near the  rice paddy the VC player calls it quits.  In the spirit of the game we allow the VC to attempt to withdraw to fight another day.  Both VC units pass their rolls, avoiding dispersing and slip away into their tunnels.

The ANZACs secure the village and victory.

I hope you all enjoyed the report and happy to answer any questions.

Friday, 21 April 2017

There is more than one way to skin a Tiger

Further Victory Conditions to add to your Chain of Command - DMZ Scenarios

Download Chain of Command DMZ here

The original NAM supplement has been focused on the conventional firefight aspect of the War. I had envisaged most of the Political style Victory conditions being incorporated into a campaign element. One thing I am always mindful of is that the Vietnam War featured a great deal of conventional firefights and wasn't just about finding rice caches. I am forever mindful though that a lot of players do enjoy the multiple victory paths that can be produced for games in this period.

Based on discussions I have had with Anibal Invictus and his superb recent play testing games
I have decided to add further rules to cover "Political Victory" style outcomes in Chain of Command - DMZ Scenarios.

When considering any rules additions to the NAM supplement I always work under the following guidelines:
  • Where possible the rules should utilise existing Chain of Command rules mechanisms.
  • They need to be as simple as possible in achieving the desired outcome.

The additional rules are as follows.

Secondary Victory Conditions
Free World Forces
Free World Forces may achieve an alternative Victory at the end of any phase/turn in which they currently have control of or have captured a total of at least 2 enemy Jump off Points and their current morale level is 4+.
They can also win scenarios under normal victory conditions.

NVA and VC Forces may achieve an alternative Victory by reducing a Free World Forces Morale to 3 or Less and withdrawing all on table units from the table whilst their final morale remains above 0.
They can also win scenarios under normal victory conditions.

Withdrawing from the Table
In order to retire from the field a NVA/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 to the unit at the start of it's move.
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 and immediately effects the players morale.
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.

NB: Victory can be achieved by a force via either method.  I do not place a differing scoring system to either victory type.

These rules can be used in conjunction with the Victory Conditions for Scenarios in the main Chain of Command rules offering alternatives to player victory as well as for a conversion method for Lardies excellent "Surfs Up" Charlie don't Surf supplement.

Secondary Victory Conditions design philosophy
Free World Forces
The Free World Forces Victory conditions allow for an aggressive player to press the opposition Jump Off Points with the risk however of becoming preoccupied with holding them down and becoming isolated.

These victory conditions are designed to reflect NVA/VC hit and run tactics that were employed at times.  This allows the NVA/VC player the opportunity to hit a Free World Force hard, inflicting casualties then Melt away from the conflict.  Advantages are given to the player exiting the table via Jump off Points rather then table edges. The dispersing rule is in place to balance this victory condition forcing the NVA/VC player to have their own Morale remaining or risk a Morale break and loss themselves.  The dispersal rule also reflects units scattering and forces being caught or lost.

NVA/VC Jump Off Points can be used to represent anything from Rice/Weapons caches, tunnel entrances areas of operations etc in line with a lot of the "Surfs Up" objectives.

Converting Surfs Up and other Charlie Don't Surf Scenarios to Chain of Command - DMZ
I will use the first Scenario from Surfs Up "The Great Rice Hunt" to give you an example of how these scenarios can be converted to CoC-DMZ.

The first thing to do is consider the Primary Objectives for each side in the scenario and determine which Scenario from the Main Chain of Command Rules this represents.

The Great Rice Hunt
US - Primary Objective: Secure the hamlet and destroy any Viet Cong forces found.
VC - Primary Objective: Maintain the food caches in the hamlet.

These Objectives best suit SCENARIO SIX: ATTACK ON AN OBJECTIVE.

Now apply the Secondary Victory Conditions from Chain of Command - DMZ based on the Secondary Objectives from Surfs Up.

US - Secondary Objective: Identify enemy rice caches and secure them ready for collection.
VC - Secondary Objective: Inflict 30% casualties on the enemy force.

Terrain is per the Scenario Diagram from Surfs Up.

This produces the following Victory Conditions:
US can win by Capturing the Main VC Jump Off Point in the Village (Securing the Hamlet) or Controlling/Capturing 2 enemy Jump Off Points with Morale of at least 4+ at the end of their phase/turn. (Capturing rice caches)

The VC can win by holding the Village Hamlet Jump Off Point and Breaking the Free World Force (Maintaing the Food Cache in the Hamlet) or reducing the Free World Force Morale to 3 or less and withdrawing all on table forces from the table (Inflicting casualties on the enemy and withdrawing).

Hopefully this adds another element to your Chain of Command gaming experiences and adds life to your Charlie Don't Surf Scenarios.

Once again any further suggestions or feedback are always welcomed.

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.

UPDATE 2/4/17
I would suggest the following change to the close combat results for anyone using this supplement with the main Chain of Command rules.

"Treat any close combat roll of 5 as a point of shock instead of a casualty and any roll of a 6 as a casualty and a point of shock."

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.