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.


  1. Thanks for the report, was too bound up in the Zulu game to track progress on yours

    1. Cheers Will. Si's game of Rourkes Drift looked brill - how did Death in a Dark Continent play?

  2. Great looking game Mr C and an excellent AAR.

    1. Thanks Mr P. This scenario would have really benefitted from your big table. Cheers, Andy

    2. One to add to the list possibly?

  3. Replies
    1. We used BG Northag as all the players knew how to play relatively well. We did work out stats for all the vehicles, but in the end we took some liberties and treated all NVA armour as a T-62 and the Centurions as an M60a-3, but one armour class better. VC squads were all given RPGs, whereas only 1 in 2 of the NVA stands, while the free world squads were all allocated LAWs. Vehicles like the PT-76 and BTR-40 were treated like BMP-1s without the ATGM. If I was doing it again, I'd get properly tabulated stats sheets drafted, but most of the pre-game prep was getting the last ANZAC platoon painted up and a company each of NVA and VC, as well as painting all the 3D printed vehicles.

      Cheers, Andy