Author Topic: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR) (COMPLETE)  (Read 14309 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR) (COMPLETE)
« on: March 20, 2015, 04:33:05 PM »
[Update: I am now naming villages, for ease of convenience, in order of any Grogs who comment on the thread!]

[Note: Something my AAR cannot accurately convey, by its nature, is that a whole campaign can be played in about an hour and a half: 45 turns, maybe two minutes a turn on average. It naturally takes me much longer because I'm writing text and putting together screenshots; but on the occasional turns when 'nothing much' happens you may notice how little time I'm spending between one post and the next -- and that's still with me composing a turn's posting!]

I promise. No singing.

I have to make that promise because I have a feeling I may be inventing little songs to praise this game as a way of encouraging people to buy it whenever it goes on sale. Or even when it's not on sale.

This is not light praise. I only do that for one other game: Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves.

This game, unfortunately, does not contain werewolves.

But it might as well: the basic concept involves fighting against a vicious unseen enemy which knows the terrain a lot better than I do, and which can hide easily either among villagers or in the woods, preparing to ambush me if I go out, especially at night.

So... sure, letís say weíre fighting werewolves! Vietnamese werewolves.

The creepiness starts early when I click on a main-screen button labeled ďuniformĒ and I find that somehow the game already knows my preferred gaming nickname is Sabreman, and has stitched that on my uniform hanging in its closet. I feel like the werewolves may be taunting me by showing they already know about me and can get into my home. Whenever they want. And leave. Without me noticing. Except when they want me to notice.

You are taunting me, werewolves. Weíll see about that.

As I tab out of the game to create a new screenshot folder at Imageshack, one of the werewolves squints back at me in its wolf form in a gauzy photo. Its human form nibbles an ice cream cone in another photo above it. This has nothing at all to do with the game, but doesnít make me feel any better.

 



Pictured: a screenshot of my screenshot library without any screenshots yet. Also pictured: werewolves. Not pictured: any screenshots of the game Iím AARing yet. The screenshotís codename assigned by Imageshack is NDepIs, by the way. Which sounds Vietnamese to me.

Conclusion: werewolves.


(New readers can skip past my relatively brief overview of the game mechanics, and go straight to the opening sitrep, if you like. The werewolves won't mind at all.)

(Yes, whenever I talk about werewolves in this AAR, you should MOST DEFINITELY be hearing Christopher Walken's voice.)

« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 10:21:59 AM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.


Offline undercovergeek

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Re: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR)
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2015, 04:48:53 PM »
i love it when your tablets stop working  :P

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR)
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2015, 04:52:29 PM »
Iíll take a break for a moment from my, um, chosen route of talking about this game, to mention more seriously in passing: my father, Ed Pratt, served in Vietnam from summer 1964-1965, as a Navy helicopter mechanic chief for the escort of a carrier group. The admiral running the carrier group actually offered to send him to officerís school if heíd stay enlisted, but he had promised Mom heíd come back home and marry her since they were engaged, so that happened, and a few years later in 1970 I happened. :)

What we didnít know at the time, was that Dad had often crewed helicopters supporting special force operations in-country -- ones the US wasnít technically supposed to be doing yet, so the records were kept secret. And then lost later. By the warehouse catching on fire. And being drowned in a hurricane. (Both explanations are the official explanations. ::) )

This became a problem when the Agent Orange he had been exposed to during those trips, affected his heart -- though to be fair, so did his radical smoking habit since he was a boy. ;) Consequently, he turned out to be due quite a bit of medical backpay and support, but because he had been serving on quasi-illegal special forces operations there were no surviving records.

We learned this is not an uncommon problem: a lot of veterans came back with developing heart problems aggravated by exposure to defoliants we were using, and have been having trouble getting the medical support promised by the Veterans Administration, even when their records arenít partially missing. After fighting for three years and thinking we probably wouldnít win, we suddenly managed to get through at the last ditch and now heís on full disability after 20 years of heart attacks and several major heart operations. Including a period of months toward the end of that ordeal when according to the doctor (evaluating the situation afterward) he was having three or more small heart attacks EVERY DAY FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS.

But Dadís comes from a family of pirates (more or less ;) ) based on the southern Florida coast, and someone who used to poach alligators as a boy back when they were still technically endangered kind of slaps heart attacks around. Even though medically he has only 25 to 27% of his heart left, he still goes out and plays golf regularly, and does other things of that sort for the past 20 years since the first big one, though naturally heís getting more brittle as he goes on. New doctors are always amazed and sure the file must be wrong: someone with so little heart left ought to be bed-ridden all day except for crawling to the bath once a night!

Dad has a lot of heart. :)

Iím hoping I can get his opinion on this game and its mechanics, though I canít promise that (and come to think of it Iím not sure it wouldnít trigger a little more stress than is good for him anymore, just by topical association).

But I wanted to take a minute to mention that, despite my joking about how the game is going to go, I have a high regard for the men who struggled in such terrible local and political conditions to help people who didnít appreciate it much (sometimes for good reasons -- we Americans ended up doing a lot of terrible damage in the area, too).

Right then. Back to the game discussion.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 05:25:19 PM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR)
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2015, 05:24:58 PM »
This is a game about strategic operational paranoia, if I havenít made that sufficiently clear yet. ;)

Though the game tutorial says it takes place in the Ia Drang valley in 1965, near the Cambodia border, really it could take place at about any time in a relatively small operational area in the region -- as some players have already noted, Cobra helicopters sure werenít out supporting troops in Ia Drang at the time. :P But for ďCobraĒ you could substitute ďHuey gunshipsĒ and get the same effect, really. It just looks sharper and itís easier to tell them apart from support Hueys at a glance.

This anytime-in-Vietnam effect is heightened by the randomness of the operational maps, which by the way are at an odd scale in relation to each other -- I mean the game Ďboardí compared to the Ďoverviewí map. Technically they line up with each other, but visually positions on one map arenít lined up with visual positions on the other map. Iíll try to drop a screeny showing what I mean later; itís far from a game-breaking problem, mostly an aesthetic one, and could be interpreted as a differential between what the Ďofficialí map says and whatís out there in reality, I guess.

Anyway, as with looking at any strategy game, the first key question is: how do I win? (The advanced tutorial is certainly the way to go here; but the basic tutorial is good at showing directly how things Ďworkí in the game.)

Answer: if my Heart and Mind score is over 50 50 or over when the game ends. Thatís midway, it runs from 0 to 100. The game starts with my HAM score at 50.

When does the game end?

After 45 turns, or maybe if my political capital runs out first (Iím not sure about that yet).

How do I get or lose H&M score?

H&M is the average point value of ten villages in the operational area. They all start out at 50, and will go up or down based on the success or failure of opposing sides in actions near the villages.

Who is my opponent?

The computer AI (no multiplayer, which may not be possible but which would be interesting if possible). The AI is running two kinds of forces, Viet Cong and NVA, which may be regarded as weaker and stronger infantry respectively.

How does my opponent act near villages to reduce my score?

The enemy infantry appears randomly (or by AI choice? -- from a limited random selection of options?) at invisible points scattered randomly across the map before game start, then is moved by the AI. Enemy infantry can build forward bases near villages, and send troops to enter villages, both of which affect the villageís score in various ways. If US troops get into losing fights nearby, or otherwise act incompetently (like by running out of supplies and ceasing to exist), that reduces village scores, too.

UPDATED TO CORRECT: the missions are only generated semi-randomly, and spawn at the ingress point closest to the target mission hex.

I'm not sure yet how random the scatter of entry points is, but it isn't just along the western map border, it seems to be pretty much all over -- what I can't tell yet is how far east the random ingress scatter goes.

UPDATED TO ADD: if the tutorial maps are any indication, the scatter dispersion is extreme. The ingress points won't be just sitting right next to each other, but one could easily be right next to the American HQ. Or, not. The game is fair, and will show the VC ingress points eventually after turn 45.

UPDATED IN HINDSIGHT TO CORRECT: the scatter dispersion can be pretty extreme after all, but I won't realize this until the end of the game.

Stronger infantry forces can also enter the map (from random points? unsure yet) along the western map border. Those are NVA forces coming in from Cambodia. Well, technically the Viet Cong is coming in west from Cambodia, too, but they pop into existence on the map at the salted points.

UPDATED TO CORRECT: although the rules clearly suggest the VC are ingressing from "the Ho Chi Mihn trail", the actual behavior is more like real life with insurgents congregating at pre-designated gathering points to go on a mission and then scattering back home undetectably afterward whether the mission succeeds or not.

How do I act near villages to increase my score?

Basically the same way: create forward bases near villages, send troops into villages, win fights near villages. I have more specific options on how to effectively do that, but there are more werewolves than I have troops. ;)

A lot more werewolves.

And usually I canít see them, until itís too late.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 10:39:30 AM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR)
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2015, 06:01:50 PM »
Putting it another way...

Weaker werewolves: can appear at discretely set invisible random spots all over the map; mainly exist to terrorize villages, and to set up ambushes; disappear after any fight, win or lose.

Stronger werewolves: are generated on the western map edge whenever any village's score drops below 40 (not sure if their position along that vertical line is random or in line with the village horizontally); will go set up a hidden base near that village; and will otherwise act like weaker werewolves except they don't go away after a fight, they just retreat westward a little and then go about their business again. Their secret bases will strike indirectly at any of my troops in range, each turn, and continually erode my political score if they still exist at the end of a turn. And if I kill any of the stronger werewolves, even though Iíll pick up some political score, it helps my H&M score exactly nothing.

These werewolves are one hundred percent invisible on the map, usually.

Unless I bump into them at one or zero hex distance (almost every unit can only see one or NO hexes away). Or get villagers to talk about them, the chance of which is based on how well the village thinks of me or them. Or unless I send out weak infantry scouts to look for them, but still the range is only three hexes.

So I can have tanks and gunships and artillery to fight the werewolves, and the werewolves can't really fight back all that effectively, great. But the tanks and gunships and arty can't usually see the werewolves either, and the werewolves don't have to be entirely effective attacking them to start cutting off the money with which I get the tanks and gunships and arty.

Or the werewolves can run my crunchy armor around in the rocks and the jungle (and hit them with mines on the ground, and the occasional RPG), until my armor runs out of supply/fuel/ammo and dies helplessly from a soft-kill.

Presumably the werewolves eat the chewy insides at that point.  >:D
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 07:41:17 PM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR)
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2015, 08:01:15 PM »
To summarize then (in game terms, not werewolf terms. Mostly. ;) ):

To win, my H&M score must be 50 or greater at the end of turn 45.

To pay for literally anything I do, including moving a single unit one hex (plus having units exist on the board at the end of the turn even if they havenít done anything), I must spend political support. I start with a budget of 12,500 ps. I can increase it as much as I can, but I can only increase it one way: win fights against the Viet Cong or the North Vietnamese Army. Either one of those nets me 1000 ps, regardless of how easy or strong they are. (Did I mention the werewolves can eventually bring their own armor if Iím losing the game? I still only earn 1000 ps for killing werewolf tanks.)

I think (not sure yet) itís possible for me to have negative ps, a political support so low that I enter a death spiral where I canít pay to even move troops around and resupply them, which eventually soft-kills my troops if the werewolves donít directly kill them first, which loses me more ps. Because Iíll lose ps by: moving any troop even one hex; having any troop on the board at the end of the turn; having any secret NVA firebase on the board at the end of the turn, whether I know itís there or not; healing wounded troops; supplying troops (including emergency airdrops); repairing troops; losing troops altogether; and bringing in any troops (except ARVN, South Vietnamese infantry, but I still have to pay a lot to get there). Oh, and troop types increase in cost the more I bring in. Incidentally, there doesnít seem to be a mechanic for me to send troops home, much less to recoup some ps by doing so.

But ps doesnít directly count for winning the game. Only the Hearts and Minds score does that. And I can only score H&M by clearing mines (assuming I can find them before I set them off!); by entering Vietnamese villages (but only when their fire is burning, and I canít stay there, unlike the VC); and by winning fights against VC near a village (but not by beating ANY NVA UNIT -- not their infantry, not their firebases, not their tanks if they start bringing those).

Note, I didnít say by destroying VC. They canít be destroyed. They disband, temporarily, whenever I fight them, whether they hurt the American unit or not. They disband and come back later, the next night.

They
canít
be
destroyed.

Conclusion: werewolves.



...sigh. Close enough.


Next up, welcome to werewolf country.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 08:14:50 PM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR)
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2015, 09:16:32 PM »
Welcome to werewolf country, son.

 



Oh, you want a map? Sure, you can have a map.

 


That... is a lot of trees. And rocks. And rice paddies. And the ten villages (flying yellow ARVN flags) weíre tasked with trying to keep safe from the werewolves. Helicopters can drop off supplies just about anywhere, but can only drop off troops on clear grassland (and US bases). Not in trees, not in rocks, not in the river, no not in rice paddies either. Not in villages either. Or on top of enemy bases, should those start showing up.

What will start showing up, tonight, are werewolves. Assuming they arenít out there already. We have no way of knowing. Yet.

Somewhere out there are five or six warps in the fabric of reality. We canít see them; weíll never be able to see them, only extrapolate their positions by theoretical math. There could easily be one right outside our HQ.

Out of those holes, every night, werewolves will come forth to sow terror in the land. And theyíll stay until they bloody us or until we bloody them. Then theyíll run away.

And come back the next night.

Until they can start bringing in stronger werewolves. With werewolf cannons. And werewolf tanks.

And we wonít be able to see any of it. Unless we go looking for them, and get right up next to them.

But the people in the villages could know. And they might tell us.

If we can prove to them, that we can protect them from the werewolves.

And the villagers are touchy. They donít really want us there, and may not help us find the werewolves, especially if the werewolves have been scaring them with threats about what will happen if they tell us. And if the stronger werewolves arrive, the villagers will regard that as a disaster: we canít earn their trust back by killing those werewolves, because we shouldnít have let them get into this area at all.

But neither can we permanently kill the weaker werewolves.

But thatís our job.

To fight, and win, what canít be won against.

Letís get to it.

Currently in our HQ, we have:
Three Hueys squads: no combat power, just for transport and supply.

One engineering company. (Iím assuming this is basically company level for most ground forces -- the game doesnít specify, but I canít imagine it would be much more than that at this scale.) They have armored personnel carriers, but suck at fighting.

One Green Beret platoon. GBs are of course awesome, but in this game theyíre weaker than just about anything, which indicates the difference in unit size. But they can see three hexes out, which nothing else can do, and they can do a few special things like train mediocre ARVN troops once some other things are in place.

Three infantry companies. These are great at fighting, better than any other soft unit on either side. But they can only see one hex away, and unless I put them on helicopters, one company per copter squad (I doubt squadís the right word but Iím too lazy to look up the proper term), they donít travel fast.

One howitzer. This can launch strong attacks at range, but canít move except by chopper, and canít be placed anywhere except an American base. And we only have one base. Yet.

Fortunately, whoever sited our HQ had enough sense to plop it about equidistantly near four of the ten villages weíre supposed to protect; and a fifth one isnít too far down the road.

Unfortunately, one of those four is this one, arguably the closest one, to our south.

And it is doomed.

 


Itís sitting across a river, with jungle running up to the riverís edge, completely surrounded by jungle and fields as far as could ever be feasibly approached. We canít drop troops nearby, theyíd have to be marched in. I have no idea yet if the engineers can get there, possibly not. Any engineering company will have a chore getting there if so; and clearing a place for a forward base to hold some troops. Very probably the company would be murdered by the VC before we could protect it.

At best, securing this one little corner will be a job for one Green Beret (for scout detecting early threats), at least one infantry maybe two, a dedicated engineering company for quite a while, and then parking the GB permanently at the forward base where it can train ARVN with a metric ton of arty support flown in to camp there. And the US infantry will have to stay there until enough ARVN troops are based nearby to feasibly repel any VC.

In fact, for proper detection weíll probably have to have two forward bases set up there, capable of local and self-defense: one east and one west.

Thatís a lot of political points spent on securing one village.

Wait, did I mention two more of the remaining six villages are in about the same crappy defensive position, except on the southwestern corner of the map?

 



Because they totally are.

And one more in the northwestern corner, though at least itís on our side of the river.

 



Thatís four of our six assigned villages.

We only have to live here forty-five weeks. Not even a year.

They have to live here always.

Welcome to werewolf country.
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR)
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2015, 09:45:52 AM »
(Yes, whenever I talk about werewolves in this AAR, you should MOST DEFINITELY be hearing Christopher Walken's voice.)

FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR)
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2015, 12:32:34 PM »
Before I continue, let me note that there are some pretty major scoring discrepancies between the tutorial information and the manual. The tutorial seems to indicate that killing NVA units, even bases, does not affect the H&M score at all. The 'printed' instructions (on pdf) not only say killing NVA units helps, but that killing a base helps even more as it positively affects the H&M score of all villages on the map, not just the closest one.

I'll be able to confirm which is which as I play.
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR)
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2015, 12:56:18 PM »
Thanks for doing this. This game mystifies me almost as much as Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer is mystified by our technology and smart phones. Then again I haven't put a lot of time into it, but I'll keep an eye here to see what works and what doesn't work for you.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR)
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2015, 01:10:32 PM »
(B_C, I am definitely learning as I go. The rules as stated seem to contradict each other sometimes, which doesn't help. Some patches for clarification would be nice.)


The other six villages arenít quite so bad.

 


This one, for example, even though itís almost in Cambodia, and on the other side of the river, is surrounded by lots of grassland. (Engineers, unfortunately, canít build bridges for some reason.)

 


And these three are already part of a road network...

 


Which connects to one of our closest assigned villages.

Granted, that village up in the northeast is buried in jungle, but at least itís on this side of the river.

The bad news is that grassland doesnít help us spot werewolves any better. Itís just easier for us to move on -- but them, too.

One bit of good news is that our HQ is invulnerable. We can leave it completely undefended, or rather it has inherent and impregnable defenses which stay there all the time to repel attacks. In practice this means the enemy will never attack it, and so also never be damaged by it. Except for any artillery we have sitting inside.

That sets up our initial situation. Next time, week one.
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR)
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2015, 02:12:45 PM »
IN WEREWOLF COUNTRY -- Day one

(Note: some notions of the game, like air cav movement and troop movements generally, seem to be on a day scale; others seem to be on a week scale, like healing and building a firebase and training ARVN for three weeks and making roads and cutting down jungle. I finally gave up and called it a day per turn, since then I can have werewolves coming out at night from their spatial anomalies and infiltrating villages unstoppably.)

Ideally, I suppose we ought to start by trying to secure these three villages as well as we can...

 


...while trying to secure that village south across the river in the jungle next.

I could run an infantry company out to each of them today on helicopters; and Iíll end up doing something kind of like that. But plopping them straight inside the villages would be a waste of intel opportunities (even if I could drop them off directly in the villages, which I canít) since there canít be many VC around yet.

Theoretically, Iíd move each of them into a village once per day thereafter, picking up a new intel chance as I go; but there isnít much reason to camp the infantry in the villages: they can still only see one hex, and (this is important) THEY CANíT STOP THE WEREWOLVES FROM INFILTRATING THE VILLAGES AT NIGHT! The VC can walk straight in, from outside our detection range, without initiating combat; and they reduce score doing so faster than we gain score for going in.

(If I understand the rules correctly. That may not seem to make much intrinsic sense, but it keeps the US team from being too overpowered too quickly by just buying relatively cheap but powerful infantry and plopping them on defense in the villages. Once the VC enter a village, I think they disappear from the board afterward, having accomplished their mission. Weíll see.)

(This is a good time to mention that, according to the written rules, the opponent AI doesnít just make do with whatever VC pop out of the Trail holes randomly. It has something like a political point budget per week, based on how well itís doing, and assigns new missions with that budget. Each mission generates a new VC unit which spawns at the ingress point closest to the mission objective; so the placement of units on the board isnít random, itís efficient.)

Setting an ambush in the villages would make tons of sense; but that still wouldnít stop the werewolves infiltrating at night (for some reason).

Setting an ambush outside the villages would make some sense; but we arenít allowed to set ambushes in or near villages (within two hexes).

This limits our possibilities quite a bit. Still, patrolling the infantry around the villages is better than nothing. (In this sense weíre going the Australian route: long term meticulous patrols outside the wire rather than going out to trip contact and then coming back.) As we start building up a history of contact reports, we should eventually be able to determine where the werewolf spawn points are, and camp infantry around them on ambush.

A forbase (not to be confused with a firebase!) could be built around here, with GB and arty support -- once we earn enough cash headhunting werewolves.

And here.

 


Which one first?!

Ideally Iíd send out two engineer APC companies with security and scouts, but that would cost way too much p-sup at first.

At the moment then Iíll try going for building a firebase FORBASE!! to house some arty to protect the village across the river, while my infantry (supplied by copters) patrol the other three near villages.

For that Iíll send along my GB squad to scout for the engineers; and Iíll buy an extra infantry for security escort.

 


Hopefully by the time Forebase-1 is built, weíll have picked up enough political support to stock it with a GB scout, at least 1 arty (though I can move the one from HQ if necessary), an infantry for defense and reserve, and an extra GB to go camp near that village over the river scouting for incoming VC.

Then the engineers can move along to build Forbase-2, same deal. Meanwhile the troops stay out in the field picking up xp, and being stagger-supplied. Iíll go ahead and buy another infantry for reserve at the HQ in case one of them lucks bad and has to be evacíd to heal at HQ, so the patrols can continue meanwhile.
 


I slightly over-extended my copter drop for the farthest deposit, so they didnít quite get there today -- should have dropped them off a hex back. But probably not a big deal.

Since I think the VC have as much trouble moving in woods as I do, I may indeed park my northern infantry in that jungle village, waiting not on ambush of course, but to smack any VC who show up a day outside it. Weíll see. Itíll be an experiment.

Thus ends day one in werewolf country.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 11:27:01 AM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR)
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2015, 02:41:34 PM »
IN WEREWOLF COUNTRY -- Day two

(Incidentally, despite what the rules said in print, I can in fact set up an ambush two hexes away from villages, just not one hex adjacent to it. I noticed my northern infantry company, still two hexes out from their location, had that option, before their dayís move.)

Last night, a pack of werewolves arose through their nether hole.

But we canít see them, yet. We donít know where they are, or what theyíre doing.

Fortunately, the augers at headquarters can sense their presence, even if we canít see them: they tell us reliably that 1 VC cadre is now on the map.

Unfortunately, I can see that Iím going to need to clear an edge of forest to make a decent trail to access Forbase-1.

Fortunately, I was able to go ahead and build Forbase-1 where I wanted today. A chopper already back at HQ picked up my arty company and prepared to deliver it to its new home tomorrow; but the jungle was slowing down my GB and infantry company trying to get there today.

 


At this point I prrrroobbbably have enough support remaining to buy one more big purchase (in the 4000 range) and still have enough to operate for a few weeks. After that, Iíll need to fight VC enough to earn some more credibility before I make any more big purchases. Or even any small ones.

But what should I buy? Another arty? Canít really use it yet. Armor? Ditto. A Chinook? Might as well spend another 1000 and get two Hueys instead, for the ranges involved right now. Four more infantries? Two and another Huey? One more GB?

My original plan was to put a Green Beret down in (or near) that jungle village across the river, to act as a spotter for the nearby arty. Another option would be to buy infantry, or an infantry/Huey mix, and try to provide security for another village or two along the road.

Security here, or security there?

One of those involves less fiddling around for a while.

Security here it is, then.

One GB summoned. The remaining chopper at HQ picks them up and plans to drop them off between the river and Forbase-1: I canít drop them off in the jungle, or on the river, or in the village, or in the rice, so theyíll have to walk in from there over the next few days.

6408 p-sup remaining, about half what I started with (12,500).

Thus ends day two in werewolf country.

With villagers unwilling to tell us where the werewolves are...
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.

Offline besilarius

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Re: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR)
« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2015, 03:05:47 PM »
JP this atmosphere you have created, claustrophobia tinged with a Lovecraftian fear of the dark, is not so far from reality.
The VC had the sense to rarely attack a firebase, but morning SOP was to check the claymore mines.  As a joke, they would turn them around to face the base defenders.  Could ruin your whole day.
If you have some engineers, and get an idea of where the NVA will attack, we had a unit that made very striking uber-flamethrowers called foux-gas.
It was fashioned using an empty 50 gallon drum, gasoline, and Ivory Snow flakes.  You could use other soaps, but Ivory Snow was preferred.
Also, don't let your troops play with the Stone Monkeys.
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Versus Vietnamese Verewolves (A Vietnam '65 AAR)
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2015, 03:18:10 PM »
IN WEREWOLF COUNTRY -- Day three

I realize Iím going to need to name these villages something for ease of reference. (Which village did I enter and they didnít want to tell me where wolf, there wolf? That one. That one there. {pointing})

I could be horribly unimaginative and name them after military phonetics: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie; or maybe backward, Zulu, Yankee, Xray.

Or I could name them after Grogheads who comment on the thread.

I shall name them as I visit them.

The people in UGeek didnít want to talk.

The people in Banzaicat, however...

 


...HOLY BLEEP WEREWOLVES RIGHT THERE, RIGHT THERE IN THE RICE FIELDS OUTSIDE TOWN CANíT YOU SEE THEM, YOU ROUND-EYES!?!

 


Oh. Yes, we can see them.

71% chance of winning the fight; about the best we can do, since theyíre outside artillery range (Iíve already dropped off my arty at Forbase-1; also the new GBs; and sent my choppers back to refuel overnight.) And in this game, there is no terrain or flanking or rear or other similar advantages. Ambush gives a 25% advantage to attack, but I couldnít ambush here anyway.

This is why weíre here. To fight what cannot be beaten.

They beat us. And run away.

We arenít dead yet (and have left the village, now in the rice). Like a board game, one loss just means we flip the Ďcardí over to the Ďwoundedí side. It doesnít affect us otherwise, but we didnít score any p-sup or H&M for fighting this time, and weíre going to lose some p-sup to heal this company back at HQ. Assuming they survive to get back there.

At least the werewolves are gone now.

Until whenever they come back.

This loss does tell us something very important, though:

 


Assuming the VC move as straight toward their target as possible from their ingress -- which is kind of a big assumption, but weíre up near the north edge of the map so they couldnít have maneuvered far -- and assuming they were trying to get to the village -- which is another big assumption, since their mission might have been to mine the rice paddy or set up an RPG ambush on the rice paddy...

...but allowing the first assumption as a working hypothesis unless events (or intel from other players, or the dev ;) prove me wrong...

Thereís at least a 33% chance the first nether hole must be along that red line at no great distance.

Consequently, my new mission for that area, if possible, is to get some infantry out into the jungle along that line, past the rice paddy, and set up a permanently supplied ambush camp.

Unfortunately, my engineers didnít get the memo (I forgot the plan) and drove their APCs toward the position for FirebaseFORBASE-2 today, rather than going back to work on that forest edge. I shall try to remember that tomorrow.

Thus ends day three. Werewolves 1, us 0. One werewolf still on the board, unseen.

And stalking its prey.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 11:31:13 AM by JasonPratt »
FIRE IN THE GROGS TOO -- a four-player full team mp of GMT's Vietnam War boardgame Fire in the Lake, recreated in TTS.

Me vs Barth -- DC1: Blitz

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR

The full pdf of Cry of Justice has been posted to the Grogheads Book category here.