Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

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dwtaylor0
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Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by dwtaylor0 » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:41 am

Hi all,

I'm attempting to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict and was looking for some feedback on what I've got so far.

Obviously in Vietnam TOEs were at best a polite suggestion, so at some point I'd like to try and make a few different potential lists for each army. That said, I probably should get the basics down before I do anything along those lines.

These forces will need support lists, those are currently in progress.

The list include the points from the official CoCulator.

The only major weapons changes are that assault rifles have no maximum range, and RPGs and M79s don't require a command initiative to fire at troops.

First pass at a plausible US Army Rifle Platoon:

Platoon HQ: (22 pts)
Lieutenant, Senior Leader armed with M16 rifle(10 pts)
Platoon Sergeant, Senior Leader armed with M16 rifle (10 pts)
Radio Operator with M16 rifle (2 pt for being soldier with assault rifle, I'm not totally sure how radios should work yet)

Rifle Squad One to Three (75 pts total, 25 pts per squad)
Squad Leader, Junior Leader armed with M16 rifle (7 pts)
Fireteam 1 (8 pts)
Team Leader armed with M16 Rifle (2 pts)<---Should this guy be a junior leader as well? I think it might be an easy way to recreate the US forces tactical flexibility, or perhaps add a rule for 'Fireteam Leader' who only has 1 command initiative
Grenadier armed with with Pistol .45 cal and M-79 grenade launcher (2 pts for now I'm calling the M-79 a rifle grenade launcher)
Two Riflemen armed with M16 Rifles (4 pts total)
Fireteam 2 (10 pts)
Team Leader armed with M16 Rifle (2 pts)<---Should this guy be a junior leader as well? I think it might be an easy way to recreate the US forces tactical flexibility
Grenadier armed with with Pistol .45 cal and M-79 grenade launcher (2 pts for now I'm calling the M-79 a rifle grenade launcher)
Three Riflemen armed with M16 Rifles (6 pts total)

Weapons Squad (35 pts)
Squad Leader, Junior Leader armed with M16 Rifle (7 pts)
Machinegun team 1 (14 pts)
Machine Gunner armed with M-60 and Pistol .45 cal (8 pts, I'm considering it a belt fed LMG)
Assistant machine gunner with Rifle (combined with machine gunner as a crewman)
Three Ammo Bearers armed with Rifles (6 pts total)
Machinegun team 2 (14 pts)
Machine Gunner armed with M-60 and Pistol .45 cal (8 pts, I'm considering it a belt fed LMG)
Assistant machine gunner with Rifle (combined with machine gunner as a crewman)
Three Ammo Bearers armed with M16 Rifles (6 pts total)

132 points total making them a +8 if regulars

US Army Special Rules:
Radios: Leaders are able to use their command initiative on any legal unit on the table.
Possible alternative: as above, but before the unit is activated roll a dice, if it's a one the command initiative is lost and the unit doesn't act. This is intended to recreate the difficulties of radio communication under fire, maybe the radioman is panicking, the frequency is filled with people yelling, the transmission is drowned out by gunfire, etc.

[There probably should be a second rule, but I'm having trouble figuring out exactly what]

First pass at a plausible NVA Platoon:

Platoon HQ (11 pts)
Officer, Senior leader armed with pistol (9 pts)
Runner/Radioman armed with AK-47 assault rifle (2 pts. as mention is the US list, I'm not sure how I'll treat radios)

Rifle Squad One to Four (124 total, 31 per squad)
Sergeant, Junior Leader armed with SMG (7 pts)
RPG (6 pts, for now I'm using the points of a panzershreck)
RPD LMG (6 pts, I'm calling it a Magazine LMG)
Six Riflemen armed with AK-47 Assault Rifles (12 pts)

135 pts total, making them +8 if regular

NVA Army Special Rules:
Superior fieldcraft: For the purposes of rolling to hit against them and NVA troops deploying/ambushing from jump off points, units are treated as being one tier better than they are. (i.e. regular NVA troops deploy up to 9", and enemies firing at them use the 'Elite' column on the 'Roll to 'Hit' table)

True Belivers: When rolling for force morale add two to the roll. This means that Green troops get no penalty, Regular get plus two, and Elite get plus four


I'd love to hear what people have to say about what I've got so far and any suggestions as to what needs to be added to make it a better representation of the conflict. The most difficult be may prove to be the scenarios, as the kinds of skirmishes in Vietnam were a very different beast from WW2.

sid
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by sid » Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:16 am

I have been thinking myself for some time about Chain of Nam. Although I quite like the idea of Hollywood Vietnam not reality Nam. I agree with most of what you say, however I would be tempted to treat the AK47 as having the range limitation from the WWII rules as it did not have the accurate range of the M14 or M16.

Treating the M60 as a belt fed LMG is definitely the way to go. The NVA RPD would be closer to a magazine LMG.

The M79 I might be tempted to call a short range light mortar, as it seemed to have the role of bunkerbuster. The US platoons might also need some form of smoke grenades as well.

For US special rules, I would throw in arty/air support. If the Radio operator is alive then the US Platoon commander can use 2 command to call in a barrage using the same rules as medium mortars in the main rules. Very powerful I admit, but it also seems very characterful. In the books Ive read and the films Ive seen (admittedly Tour of Duty is not exactly 'source material') calling in air support seems to be the get out of free jail card US platoons use.

A possible use for radios could be extra command dice. So the US forces get the extra dice of elites as long as the platoon commander has his radio operator alive without the defensive benefits of being hit on 5 not 4; similarly Charlie is shot at as elites (superior fieldcraft) but has the command dice of regulars as they had no real radio communication at section or even platoon level.

For the NVA Special Rules, possibly when using a chain of Command Dice to obtain an Ambush, the NVA get to ambush with 2 Teams not one, with a shout of 'Gooks in the treeline!' or some similar period racism. Possibly even granting the NVA an extra jump off point to reflect their ability to infiltrate. An extra use of NVA command dice would be to counteract an end of turn, so if their jump off point is captured then they can get another chance to rescue it.

Seriously kitting out the US forces with special rules and equipment to raise their points value seems to be the way forward, so that way the NVA can get to outnumber the forces of the free world which is the spirit of the period. Clean cut young American boys against hordes of Charlie coming out of the trees, and don't say that's wrong because you don't know, you weren't there man!

I'm sure scenarios could be cobbled together from other rule sets dealing with the period, or again watching Tour of Duty so you can rescue villagers, protect engineers building something. Go find a downed helicopter pilot before Charlie does, keep an interfering embedded journalist alive whilst a random platoon member falls in love with her and can't function properly (stop me when when I get too silly), rescue a fellow platoon member whilst on R and R from an organised crime gang that has kidnapped him. Or even something more mundane like clear a village, ambush a supply column etc

For Charlie, recce a firebase before the big attack, protect a village, punish a village for not paying taxes, delay Americans to enable bunkers to be built, ambush a US patrol, find a US helicopter pilot etc etc

It also strikes me that this period is very characterful for random event cards to spice it up.

I'm now going to go away and source some figures and think about this some more. If I end up spending another couple of hundred pounds, I'm going to blame you!

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remgain
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by remgain » Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:10 am

Hi!

I'm following this thread with great interest, as I think that CoC is specially suited to model the Vietnam skirmishes.

Maybe the VC don't have to move the Patrol Markers keeping them in 12" each other.

Another special rule for the US could be the "Mad minute".
By spending 2 command points the squad leader can order the squad to fire wildly in every cover. the only effect could be to force the VC/NVA player to deploy a squad/team not yet deployed.
We have to think how to rule that.

Just my 2 cents,
Marco
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

George Bernard Shaw

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agent_pumpkin
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by agent_pumpkin » Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:28 am

Also I would consider something to replicate the ability for the VC to melt away into cover.

Possibly allowing a VC squad to un-deploy at a jump off point or in cover along the lines of Di Di Mau in CDS. Obviously they wouldn't be able to do this just when they feel like it. I would suggest it takes a senior leaders full initiative to do command it and they would have to be out of LOS...?
Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the kingdom of idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts.

Peter
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by Peter » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:29 am

"Can't do it all the time" says "Spend a Coc Die" to me...

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agent_pumpkin
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by agent_pumpkin » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:21 am

Nice! :)
Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the kingdom of idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts.

Saladin
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by Saladin » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:46 pm

CoC is not designed for asymmetrical warfare. You might be able to do something with Special Forces attacks, but that's about it.

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Arlequín
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by Arlequín » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:06 pm

With the exception of special ops, the platoon radio was for talking to company, there's nobody on the table for the PC to talk to, so no special radio rules required for a platoon game as such. Even with someone else with a radio, the PC would need a line of sight, however distant, to instruct his men on a suitable course of action.

While the AK is apparently less accurate than the M-16, over the distance of the typical game, who is shooting it is far more important than the weapon itself. I'd point out that holding your M-16 above the log you are hiding behind and letting loose, perhaps negates any advantage its inherent accuracy might offer! The same is the case with spraying the tree line. ;)

While it is tempting to make fire team leaders (Spec 4/Corporal) Junior Leaders, bear in mind that it will cost the force overall and relies on far too many rolls of 2 and 3 to come up on your dice. A individual fire team without a leader can activate on a 1. I would stick to two teams and a single junior leader per squad, with two seniors at platoon HQ personally.

From what I can gather, the 'Weapons Section' generally only appeared on paper and its men were used to fill in for the sick, injured and on leave, keeping the three rifle squads as up to strength as possible.

If it was me, I'd use a basic platoon structure with the lowest 'combat effective' strength (roughly 6 men per squad) as the core and use the support options to increase the size of the individual squads as required. Rather than a 'Weapons Squad', the MG teams (gunner and loader only) can either be attached to the Platoon HQ as 'teams', or integrated within the Squads as a team, which is what they did in any case. It's one less Junior Leader in the platoon overall, but they got leave and got sick like anyone else.

A full strength US Platoon is 44 guys, which will take a lot of VC to match them, who themselves will have substantially less toys to choose from to face them from their own support list. NVA are somewhat more equal, but will struggle to match them point for point.

The RPG-2 was pretty much like the Panzerfaust 100 in the rule book, the RPG-7 somewhat better, so Panzerschreck is close enough, if a little underpowered. The M79 I'd be tempted as classing as a light mortar, as it had a 30 metre arming range and was designed to out-range a rifle grenade in the first place and was capable of indirect fire.

NVA seems pretty spot on to me, although I don't think they had (or need) a radio at platoon level and might benefit from a platoon 2-ic instead. Pretty sure they only had three squads, but I could be wrong.

Good start overall though for my money, so keep at it. Asymmetric warfare might take some doing, but there were plenty enough symmetric actions too... it wasn't all booby-traps and Cong disappearing after firing one shot. ;)

sid
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by sid » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:00 am

More interesting points, seems this topic has got people thinking.


In respect of the radio issue, what was the radio issue in the US army army down to squad level. It was this I was thinking of when I suggested an extra command dice.

I actually think that all the above is enough to start play testing a full CoC expansion. As Richard has already got the CDS rules and obviously understands the period maybe we will see an expansion like Terrible Sharp Sword expanded Sharp Practice. However as there is still so much more in WWII for CoC I can't see that soon.

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Arlequín
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by Arlequín » Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:37 am

Until you get into the '70s (in Europe at least, '80s for many parts of the world), Post-War technology was mostly only slightly improved on that of WWII, so many conflicts are conceivably do-able.

As for radios and I'm no expert, typical line units had one per platoon, two at company (coy net and batt net). There were walkie talkies and helmet-mounted sets for the squad leaders and platoon leaders in theory, but the constant need for batteries and their weight meant that they weren't generally used.

Extra command dice and/or an increase in command distance are suitable effects to represent their use though, so good call to my mind. :)

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