When I play games with NVA or VC in bunkers, the Free World Forces have always started in front of the bunker line or bunker complex. SGT Jorgenson’s memoirs gave an account of a battle that makes a much different game and one that may start with action much sooner.
At this point in his book (page 108) SGT Jorgenson is in the Aerorifle (Blue) Platoon of A Troop 1/9th Cavalry. They had been inserted by their dedicated lift Hueys to check out what was in a part of the Dog Head’s area on the Cambodian border.
On the way, pink teams of one scout helicopter and one gunship had led the way, ahead of the Blues’ lift ships. It was a cold LZ and the Blues entered the tree line where they soon found a well used trail with flakes of a recently dropped rice ball. The Blues’ South Vietnamese interpreter, Hue, said the enemy had been there a few minutes ago, had heard the helicopters and maybe had run for the safety of the Cambodian border, or maybe not; maybe they were still around.
Continuing on, the Blues came to the perimeter of a bunker complex. Contrary to the usually concealed bunkers, these were blatant. Protected from view from above by the foliage, on the ground there were hundreds of fighting positions, small one man spider holes and more elaborate structures. The sound of the Blues’ movement was drowned out by the mechanical noise of the helicopters overhead.
So the above was the background. The Blues actually continued on and were inside the perimeter of the bunker complex. The NVA had not fled to Cambodia; they had taken cover from the helicopters within the bunker complex. The NVA apparently thought the pink team was just another helicopter reconnaissance that they decided to wait out. They had not heard the Blues enter the bunker complex. Eventually the NVA discovered the Blues and the fight started. But when it did, the Blues were not in front of the firing apertures of the bunkers, but behind them on the side with the entry and exit opening. The NVA basically had to come out of their holes, and as SGT Jorgenson said, “get their bearings,” and attack.
I thought a nice game scenario would be to recreate this. The game would begin with the Blues within the bunker complex. Random die rolls could determine which fighting positions had which NVA. At the beginning of the first turn, the NVA would have discovered the Blues and the fight would begin.
In the actual fight, Hue went from bunker to bunker, finding the first ones empty. Then he found an NVA in one and shot him. The fight was on. This also could be incorporated into the game with a die roll determining who saw whom first. This is built into FNG as the In Sight Test, complete with Hue probably being a Rep 5 figure based upon his four years of combat experience and still being alive. This would give him an edge over the normal NVA figure. Actually, in FNG figures only have a 180 degree line of sight and as Hue came to the entrance opening, not the firing aperture, there would be no In Sight Test. Hue would just get to fire.
I think I know what my next Vietnam game will be. I love the Blues and using the bunkers I made. I can also play with my helicopters. Sounds like fun to me!