Sunday, 28 August 2022

Vietnam game Beacon Gaming Saturday

After a month or so of preparation, my 15mm collection for late 1960's Vietnam was ready to go.  This was a thinly disguised Tet offensive-type scenario set on 31st January 1968.

View of table looking south below.  Left hand table edge is coastline, with high ground on the right.  In the distance, a river meets the sea by a small town and bridge.  Tracks run inland from the coastal highway ending at old French colonial farms/plantations, and a more significant highway parallels the river running through a pass in the mountains.  ANZAC firebase and airfield near left in view.

An ANZAC company was tasked with camp security, and control of the town and bridge, as well as a sweep of the high ground to clear some VC mortars and rockets which had carried out night time attacks on the coastal camp.  An under strength US infantry platoon was also available in camp, as too were a pink team of Loach and Hog and a blue team of four Slick Huey helos.  A troop of M113 Cadillac guage apcs and a troop of 4 Centurions plus a dozer Centerion were also allocated to support the ANZACs.  The camp was a firebase for a pair of 105mm howitzer and three 3" mortars.

View south from the highlands.

As the ANZACs moved into the hills, the US platoon deployed by helo insertion on their southern flank to provide flank security.

The pink recce team split up, with the Loach scouting ahead of the ANZACs and the Hog scouting the outskirts of the small town.  An early loss was caused when the Hog closed with the town and was brought down by an ambush by VC teams in the buildings.

More VC teams revealed themselves by firing on the newly deployed US troops before they could deploy.

Over the first three turns, the ANZAC CO received radio traffic advising of heavy track noises heard by CIA controlled Montagnards to the west, followed by a report from a Green Beret recce patrol of an intense firefight around the South Vietnamese camp immediately to the north.  On turn three, a general alert from MACSV, warned of deep penetration by VC and NVA troops in Saigon, Hue and Danang as well as other locations.

In the NVA part of turn 3, their armor appeared from out of the mountains to the west in the form of a company of ex-Soviet WW2 era tanks including 4 T34-85s and a pair of IS-3s, as well as a troop of captured South Vietnamese M41s from the south.

The ANZACs redeploying to meet the threat from the NVA.

The US platoon remained in a vicious firefight with the local VC, preventing them taking up a more advantageous position.  All the time accumulating losses.

The edge of town looking north with mechanized NVA infantry securing the suburbs, while the VC move through the jungle to pinch out the isolated US infantry.

The Mainforce NVA armour arrive through the mountain pass, with 3 T55 and 6 T54, plus 4 PT76.

105mm howitzer and 3" mortar barrages called in by the ANZACs as well as a Phantom strike KO'd 2 T55s and eventually a T-34, as well as pinning several T34s, thus delaying their appearance on the ANZAC flank.

Long range tank fire on the remnant of the US platoon augmented the local VC forces and swept away the last hold outs.  The ANZACs took the high ground and captured the VC mortars that had been bombarding the camp.  However, the NVA armor and mechanized infantry were in firm control of the town and bridge and pushing north, bringing the camp defences under fire and destroying a 105mm howitzer and a mortar, but more worrying for the ANZACs, destroying two Centurions.

The game ended with the ANZACs achieving 2 objectives (sweep high ground and destroy VC heavy weapons) and hold the camp.  The VC/NVA had secured 2 objectives (town and bridge).  Special mention to the VC, who's only objective was to kill or render ineffective as many free world troops as possible - with both an ANZAC and  US platoon being rendered combat ineffective.

Rumours of free world troops breaking rules of engagement by calling indirect artillery fire on possible civilians, based on early reports from an embedded tv crew with ANZAC forces, could not be confirmed when the crew were killed by a direct hit from a VC mortar.  A photo journalist embedded with the local VC wrote a very influential piece for various western magazines including images of free world casualties, downed helicopters and burning Australian tanks.  Many questions would be raised in Congress and the Australian parliament.

A fun game, thanks to Dave for supplying a lot of the terrain and co-umpiring with me, Mike, Ryder and Ian for playing the free world commanders, Nathan commanding the VC and Steve the NVA commander.  Played using BG Northag with a lot of tweaks and some controversial unit stats and abilities.

Thanks for looking.

Friday, 12 August 2022

20mm US infantry for Vietnam

Pre-pandemic, I made a trip to one of the Penkridge table sales, where I picked up a box of under coated US infantry for Vietnam, based on pennies.  I'm running a 15mm Vietnam game at the end of the month and this inspired me to take a look at these.  The deal was sealed when I bought a box of Warlord Waffen SS figures and came across the excellent Paint all the minis 28mm Vietnam tutorial, so thought I'd try out the method on these slightly smaller scale minis.

I did one test figure and then batches of five, completing one batch a day with around 90 minutes working time per batch, excluding drying time.

Test figure rear left and first batch of 5.

Some command types and an M60 gunner.

Scout in soft hat and more command plus an M79 Blooper grenadier.

Sniper, command and M16 troopers.

A pair of M60 gunners and M16 troopers.

Some figures I particularly liked.

M16 trooper holding helmet on, either under fire or in the down draft of a helo.

Leader figure.

M16 trooper advancing.


Scout in bush hat advancing.

Radio man advancing.

M79 grenadier advancing.

Leader signalling by hand.

Leader advancing.

M16 trooper rushing.

Nice sculpts, I have about 80 in total, so more to come.  I'll paint up at least enough for a USMC platoon in this batch, which should also cover most Army units as well.  Basing is a mixture of tufts and green static grass, which gives a nice luxuriant base to the figures.

Thanks for looking.

Wednesday, 27 July 2022


Last club Saturday gameday was a brilliant Aliens inspired game using some house rules developed by Dave, Mick and Paul at the club, inspired by Force on Force, Space Hulk and Zombicide.  A distress call had been recieved from colonists on a mining world and a squad of marines was despatched to effect a rescue.  Preliminary satellite images showed no recent activity in the industrial plant!

Hastily erected sand bag defences were thrown up around parts of the landing pad, with early images suggesting they were manned, but later images suggesting no sign of human activity.  (Dropship and figures added for eye candy).

More eye candy - Dave was working on this until the wee hours, getting it ready for the game.

The control centre, equally deserted in this oblique aerial approach shot.

All power appeared to be out, as no lights were on, so the squad I was part of were assigned to restore power and comms.  The dropship hit the pad and the apc rolled off, swinging towards the camera to drop my squad off.  Our mission, to restore power at the building on the right just beyond the red electical substation and realign the colony radio dish just off table near right.  Then cross to the central comms area and establish comms (two storey building next to the landing pad).

Power lifter, lovely model.

The team dismount the APC, me (Hudson) at the back, Mick (Apone) in front of me, Little Si (Vasquez) on the right and Paul (?Dietrich) in front.  Mick and I had pulse rifles, Little Si the Smart gun and Paul a flamer. 

As we move towardsw the power plant, the apc trundles off carrying the other squad (Dennis, Will, Ryder, Phil and Nathan) to look for the colonists.

We reach the power plant controls without incident, although motion trackers are showing scattered long range blips.

Mick and Little Si overwatch as Paul and I try to get the power back on.

Shadowy movement in the darkness.

The first blip comes into view and an alien is chewed up by overwatch fire while another goes down stunned.

They don't seem very happy.

Our team trying to look in every direction at once and feeling decidedly jumpy.

More aliens appear as we move towards the radio dish, Paul fries them.

An alien ambushes Little Si, who's able to sidestep and allow team mates to deal with the threat.

Once the dish is realigned, the squad moves towards the comms centre, right into the path of a host of advancing movement blips.  We have to move fast as there are even more blips coming from the left of the building.

The squads weapons deal with the oncoming hordes as we inch forwards, trying to keep out of sight of the oncoming aliens to our left, who will charge if they see us.

We get around the corner and arrive at the Comms Centre, fighting off aliens in front and behind, but a raft of alien ambushes trigger a crisis point for the squad with Little Si, Mick and I all threatened with aliens springing out behind us.

Some nifty footwork and good shooting kill or stun the alien ambushers, buying us some time to head off towards our final objective (the grey building top left).  Once again, pursuing blips come into view as a horde of aliens come rushing towards us.

Fire from my three squad mates enables me to make a dash for the next objective, although I fail my tech test to activate this turn (I'm out of sight behind the red building). 

There was some hectic action at this point as aliens poured out of the objective building and headed in my direction.  I pulled back out of charge range and my team mates eventually dealt with them, allowing me back to the control panel to activate the objective and establish comms with the drop ship, the other squad and orbitals.  The other squad were heading back to the landing pad with some rescued colonists, with a massive comet-like tail of movement blips strung out behind them.  The drop ship was called to rendezvous and we headed back to the landing zone as fast as we could.  As we moved off, huge clanging and banging noises erupted from a building at the edge of the landing zone and a huge four-legged, alien warrior emerged, along with several of the more regular aliens.  Our squad stuggled to reach the improvised defences on the edge of the landing strip and opened fire on the oncoming aliens.  Sadly, Little Si managed to jam his smart gun and then wreck it in an attempt to clear it, but grabbed a nearby pulse rifle and opened up with that instead. 

The other squad had, by this time made it to the refueling depot and attached a pipeline to the dropship, which was running low.  Aliens were appearing all around them and the multiple movement blips in the distance were getting closer and closer.

The big picture, our squad on the left confronting the huge warrior, the other squad taking on the oncoming aliend hordes, plus an alien queen emerging from a nearby warehose (off picture to the right).

After much gunfire and alien lunges, the other squad lost a colonist and Ryders character, but retired with the other survivors.  Our squad despatched the warrior, but Paul was put down by an alien charge and then grabbed by the alien.  In close combat, Mick stunned the alien and then tried to pull him by his webbing towards the drop ship, eventually passing him to me to finish the last distance on to the drop ship ramp and we were able to close hatches and lift off.

 A great days gaming, loads of fun and the randomness of alien appearance points, quantities and ambushes kept us entertained through a full 7-8 hours of gaming.  A huge thanks to Dave for laying on most of the terrain and all of the scenario ideas and for playing the aliens so effectively throughout the day.  Emphasis was on team play, with each squad covering each others backs and then both squads covering each other to deal with multiple aliens coming in from every direction around the drop ship.  Thanks to Mick, Paul and Little Si for providing such good team mates and to Will, Nathan, Ryder, Phil and Dennis for such entertaining chaos at their end of the table.  All great fun.