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Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

A place for members to share modelling tips and tricks, as well as pics of miniatures, terrain, table set-ups.

Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby Just Jack » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:57 am

All,

Well, it all started about a year ago now. For some reason I'd decided to buy 'just a few' 15mm guys to do some skirmishing (actually, that's all Techno-Phil's fault: I wanted some 10mm Marines with M-14s but couldn't get them, so I looked to 15mm!). As part of that I was on Brookhurst Hobbies' website and ordered a single pack of Peter Pig LRRPs (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol, for the uninitiated) and VC (Viet Cong, or Varmint Cong if you listen to Bill Murray). I painted and based both sets up, and a year later neither has seen the table.

But then I (virtually) met Jimmi over at Flashpoint Minis and, well, now I'm a Vietnam War gamer. Previously you've seen me post my Flashpoint Minis US Marines (with M-14s, about 70 figures), then Peter Pig Viet Cong (about 30 guys), and then more Flashpoint Minis, this time ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam, AKA South Vietnamese, about 50 figures). And then recently I went nuts and bought a bunch more stuff.

This post is simply to confirm to the world that I am, indeed, a Vietnam-era gamer, and to give a quick overview of all the stuff I recently purchased and finished up. I will be doing my 'usual' separate blog post for each subset of troops/terrain/vehicles, but I'm quite proud of myself getting all this done and so wanted to show it off in one grand post. So let's get to it.

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Here's everything, all my recent purchases painted and based, ready to play. What do we have?
-Peter Pig NVA Platoon
-Peter Pig NVA and VC Heavy Weapons (mortars, MGs, and recoiless rifles)
-Peter Pig VC casualty figures
-A Peter Pig T-55 (for Laos and Fall of the South)
-A Zvezda 122mm SPG (ditto)
-A Battlefront US 'leg' Infantry Platoon
-Two Battlefront OH-6s
-A Peter Pig M-48
-Two Peter Pig LVTP-5 Amtracs
-Flashpoint Minis US tank riders
-A Peter Pig PBR
-Three Flashpoint Minis Sampans
-A village from Flashpoint Minis (four thatch huts, a wooden hut, a corrugated tin shelter, a fish pond, a foot bridge, a Buddhist Shrine, an animal pen, two wooden-staked walls, various pots and containers
-Flashpoint Minis Palm Trees
-Pegasus Banana Trees
To see pics of all that, please check the blog at:
http://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2016/0 ... gamer.html

Not pictured: Flashpoint Minis Elephant Grass, and Flashpoint Minis ANZAC Task Force, which I'm still painting up.

Like I said, I'll be doing separate posts for the various troops, vehicles, and terrain posted here, so stand by for that. And stand by for some Vietnam games! So let me pontificate on that for a moment; I know a lot of you out there in the ether-land love the photos of stuff, but I also know a lot of you enjoy hearing (and/or making fun of me for) my project plans. So here goes.

First, I'm very conflicted on two accounts:

1) I am absolutely committed to fighting out a campaign for the US battle of Dai Do, where 2nd Bn 4th Marines (reinforced by C/1/3) fought an entire NVA division to a standstill. I originally planned on doing this in 15mm, but the overall battle seems to me to lend itself to a series of company-level actions, and that's pretty big for 15mm (for me at least). So, my issue is whether to do Dai Do as company-level fights (about a dozen of them) in 6mm, or do it as a series of platoon-level fights (about 35 of them!) in 15mm.

2) (and this affects Dai Do as well) I have quite a few ideas for Vietnam projects, but I kind of don't want to play them as Vietnam campaigns, I want to work them into my existing Cuba Libre alt-history blog. That is, I'd be playing Vietnam fights with Vietnam figures, vehicles, and terrain, but for my campaign purposes the troops would be Cuban Expeditionary Forces rather than US Marines, US Army, or ARVN. This is pretty much solely in the interest of time; I've got too many projects, and so this is a means of sorting of killing two birds with one stone. I get to play some Vietnam gaming AND advance my Cuba Libre stuff.

So, what all do I have in mind? This is a list of stuff I will get to (someday):
-Dai Do, USMC vs NVA
-Operation Buffalo, USMC vs NVA
-Operation Starlite, USMC vs NVA
-Lam Son 719, ARVN vs NVA
-1972 Easter Offensive, ARVN vs NVA
-The movie "Platoon," USA vs NVA/VC
-Some "Apocalypse Now"-style Air Cav, USA vs VC
-I'd like to do some Phoenix stuff, though the troops aren't ready for this yet
-I'd like to do some SF w/Mike Force stuff, though I don't have troops for this yet

I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of for right now.

V/R,
Jack
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Re: Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby GARRYOWEN » Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:10 am

You should have some great games with all you have done. Good luck with your campaign. They do take commitment.

Tom
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Re: Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby Smitty14 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:45 am

You've got a lot done! So good job!! As far as #1 goes I'd do platoon level at 15mm since you have the figures already, or that scale. Of course I like platoon size engagements more so I could be biased in that response.

Look forward to seeing more of what you put out.
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Re: Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby Just Jack » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:08 pm

Thanks Tom and Smitty, I appreciate it gentlemen. Regarding commitment, I have a pretty decent track record, though lately I have let myself get too bogged down with new projects...

Regarding #1, I should mention that I already have all the infantry for 6mm Vietnam, just need some M-48s and LVTP-5s (I've already got M-113 ACAVs and M-60s, which I could proxy for M-48s), maybe an armored patrol boat. Got a couple Hogs, Chinooks, and Phantoms as well, so currently more suited for Army Cav than Marines, but one pack of GHQ M-48s and LVTPs would do it. I've even got Vietnamese civilians in 6mm, though I haven't painted and based them, so not far off.

Ahh, so many ideas, so little time! And what do you guys think of my wrapping Vietnam gaming into my Imagi- Nation/Alt Histroy world, 'Cuba Libre'**? I'd be playing with Vietnam troops and equipment on Vientam terrain, but calling it something else, purely in the interest of combining projects in order to keep things going.

**If you're not familiar, I played out a campaign in 1990 that essentially replayed The Bay of Pigs, but this time it succeeded, and now Cuba is a free, democratic country with an expeditionary force that travels the world fighting tyranny and oppression; currently they are involved in the imaginary country of 'Cronistria,' which is a splinter of the Former Yugoslavia seeking to become an independent nation.

V/R,
Jack
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Re: Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby predhead » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:53 pm

I would dare say that with that many figs already painted up and ready to use, you are more than just a Viet Wargamer...you are a fan, an addict, a devotee!

Looking good, Jack...keep 'em coming!
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Re: Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby jimmi » Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:33 am

Just Jack wrote: I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of for right now.

Jack


Hahaha! ... yes the universal problem .... " theres' more "

This looks really good Jack ! ..nice start ! (hahaha!) ... yeah ! you deep in the 'Nam now .. some people never leave !
Terrain pieces came up looking real nice !

I've seen your plans for the Dai Do campaign , .. and I'd likely do it in 6mm all things being equal .. esp if you already have a fair percentage of the figures/stuff already. A lot of your European terrain could likely double as Vietnam Terrain.

How you do your narrative campaigns lends itself to 15mm ... and you'll soon likely have enough cool terrain to go anywhere you want to take it ... eg. I've been recently reading about the CIA in Angola in the 60's / period.

I personally really like the 'what ifs' ... I have been recently preparing wargaming rules / scenarios on the narrative of a "all the way with USA" version of a post-1972 "Total War" in Vietnam , but now with complete commitment from both sides . Hypothetical ... and on thinking about it a lot of new possibilities / probabilities .

The 1960's- 70's were a pretty wild time ....anything was possible ...

Hollywood -oriented narratives would be a lot of fun too .

What rules are you planning on using for these ? 5Core ?.

Now I see it ! .... You need a spooky gunship model ! ... that's what's missing ! :lol

freaking awesome !

:cheers
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Re: Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby Just Jack » Mon Aug 22, 2016 3:57 pm

Darryl - Thanks man, and addict pretty well sums me up when it comes to wargaming.

Jimmi - I appreciate the compliments, your village stuff is really great! Now I need to get your Marines and ARVN stomping around on it. You've got some cool ideas, but keep them to yourself, I've got too many ideas as it is ;)

I'm still torn on 6mm vs 15mm; it's killing me!!! 6mm is definitely the smarter (easier, more practical) way to go. I'm really reticent about using 15mm for it because of the sheer size. I have an 8' x 6' table, but it's so much work, and I don't have the terrain to cover it. And as much as I'm absolutely going to be doing platoon-level stuff in 15mm, I really feel like I stand to lose a lot of the flavor of Dai Do (at least in my head) if I'm not playing it at company level. I mean, those fights were really throwing a whole company at a village at a time. And I don't want to 'bathtub' it.

Not exactly sure what rules I'll use, but pretty safe bet is 5Core at some level, modified to give it Vietnam flavor. Hell, I'm well over a 100 battles using 5Core, from team to battalion level fights. Why change now? ;)

Though I did hear Peter Pig is re-working "Men of Company B" to be platoon-level.

V/R,
Jack
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Re: Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby jimmi » Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:18 am

I've read mention of the Peter Pig 'Men of Company B' redo ! .. I'm very excited about this . Are they rewriting to Platoon level ?
I've played these rules a lot way back and like the design, insomuch as there is good hidden movement rules , and at least one cache out there to find ... which means the FWF is looking . ..A fairly realistic (in results), fun , good humoured game. They do handle Company-plus engagements fairly neatly.

I was hoping you'd say Fivecore Rules for this ! ... I'd be really keen to see /hear what your mods would be . I not played or read 5Core but have been following precariously via yours and other's AAR's. So I've got an idea of how they play out. I'd be keen to see how/what you'd adapt for Vietnam.
Dammit ! ..I'll have to buy another set of rules ...look what you made me do ! :cheers ...where's Weasel ?

a 6x8 table ! ? ..no worries ! ... you could so do DaiDo on this ! ... most of the terrain was rice paddies, plus three or four little villages, a major waterway on one edge, minor waterway on the other edge, a minor hill and cemetery just next to DaiDo.
..unseen bunkers and tunnels around the villages and minor cemetery feature. ...methinks you could do this on a 6x8 table in whole or parts .
too easy !

..you will need a lot of casualty markers. and artillery impact markers . and a LCM-8 .....and a Spooky gunship .

Don't listen to me though !.. I'm locally famous for making these things much bigger than they need to be ! :lol

6mm would be a saner solution...but never let logical facts interfere with planning . :good
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Re: Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby Just Jack » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:07 pm

Jimmi,

Yeah, I guess I could do Dai Do on the whole table, but what a pain. I guess I'm getting lazy in my old age ;) And I suppose I'll have to find an AC-47, but probably in 6mm ;)

Yeah, 5Core is where it's at for me. I still can't help but try out new rules now and again, but I seem to keep coming back to 5Core. What can I say, they do what I want rules to do, and they're equally fun vs an opponent and solo. I haven't yet given to much thought to the tweaks I'll make to work it for Vietnam, but you know me: once I've got the mods figured out I'll put them on the blog so anyone interested can use them.

Right off the bat I'm thinking things need to be slowed down. Whereas my Royal Marines in Afghanistan deal was hectic, I think Vietnam generally needs to slow down. More cautious, less folks involved in the fight due to terrain restricting LOS, troops being spread out and not too keen on running into another ambush/booby trap. We'll soon see.

I've been reading up on Operation Starlite, and really wanting to do some of the early war stuff. Something that will enable me to smaller echelon stuff, a platoon or less.

V/R,
Jack
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Re: Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby Just Jack » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:07 pm

All,

While Vietnam was largely an infantry war, there were, of course, vehicles present. I've only got two helicopters, which you'll see later, but now you get to see what else I've got, and the cool thing is that I've got vehicles for both sides! And I've got land and sea covered ;)

The label says Peter Pig, which is a bit of a little white lie. You see, it's almost all Peter Pig, but there is one lonely Zvezda vehicle in there.

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Here's the group: a PBR (Patrol Boat, River), two LVTP-5 Amtracs, and M-48 Patton, a T-55, and a 122mm self-propelled gun (I believe the Soviet designation is 2S1?). The T-55 and SPG are for the North Vietnamese, and will come in handy for some late war action, like the Fall of the South, the 1972 Easter Offensive, or Lam Son 719. All the US stuff is in play for the entire war.

The 122mm SPG is the Zvezda model, all the rest is Peter Pig. To see a bunch more pics, please check the blog at:
http://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2016/0 ... etnam.html

That's all my vehicles, and all I can see really needing in 15mm. I'd like to have some more helos, some Hueys for the Army and some CH-34s for the Marines, but they're so big and expensive (and hard to find the -34s) that I'll probably live without them. More troops and terrain to show ya, so stay tuned.

V/R,
Jack
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Re: Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby GARRYOWEN » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:18 am

Good looking vehicles.

Tom
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Re: Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby uglyfatbloke » Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:27 am

Vietnam does become a little (OK, very) compulsive. SWMBO and I started out on a 'one platoon per side' 28mm project just a couple of months back....now there's a bundle of tanks and trucks, about 10 helicopters and a company of infantry for each of us.
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Re: Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby Just Jack » Fri Aug 26, 2016 3:31 pm

All,

This is a platoon pack of Battlefront Vietnam-era US regular old 'leg' infantry, and a pack of two OH-6 light observation helicopters, or 'LOACHES.' I'd picked the infantry up quite awhile ago and had them lying on the lead mountain; I'd also purchased the helos some time ago. I assembled them, finished up their flight stands, and primed them, but had them sitting around too. Well, I finally finished both, and I'm glad I did. Battlefront is a bit pricey, and my experience with their infantry has been a bit hit and miss, but these sculpts are really fantastic.

The helos are really good, but the infantry is truly great. There are some flaws; some miscastings (missing rifle barrels and broken carrying handles), the grenadiers are missing pistols (I guess that's universal), and there was quite a bit of flash on some of the poses (some of which I missed in my clean up, unfortunately), but the poses are really fantastic. I can't wait to get these on the table; I'm sure most of you have seen the movie 'Platoon,' and that's exactly what I'm thinking with these guys. I've even been picking out poses for certain characters, and tired to paint the 'Electric Strawberry' patch of the 25th Infantry Division on them.

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The whole mess, 44 troops and two helicopters.

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A couple grenadiers with M-79s, crouched and moving forward. But their Army, so going in different directions ;) To see a bunch more photos, please check the blog at:
http://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2016/0 ... antry.html

Well, that's the 'Platoon,' I can't wait to get them on the table. But there's a lot of stuff I can't wait to get on the table. Bear with me, I'm doing my best! More to come.

V/R,
Jack
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Re: Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby jimmi » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:04 am

Wow Jack !

great painting efforts ! ... the vehicles and Loaches look great , but the infantry looks awesome !
? ... These must be the 'mechanised' (new) US infantry figures. I don't have these (yet). I particularly like the grenadiers .
I note your 'Marine vehicle green' choice looks very good too.

A CH34 is in the pipeline , You can find CH46s SeaKnights/Phrogs plastic models every now and again on ebay or out of Taiwan.

big :cheers
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Re: Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer

Postby Just Jack » Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:11 pm

Thanks man, I appreciate it.

The troops are pretty damn good; and don't worry, I like your grenadier too, just need more poses! ;). And the Battlefront grenadiers don't have sidearms either...

I really want an H-34, though I know I should go with a -46 as it goes the whole war and can be used for later stuff (though really it would look weird due to the color changes).

I've got a table set up for some 1965 USMC vs VC.

V/R,
Jack
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