Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

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jarhead60mm
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by jarhead60mm » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:04 pm

dwtaylor0,

Being in mortars I really can't answer your question. We would have our own hole in the perimeter at night manned by the ammo carriers and some of us would be put in with the rifle squads so that there would be 3 men to a hole. This was helpful in allowing everyone to get some more rest. We were also attached to squads as riflemen for patrol purposes too. Otherwise the 60 was our main responsibility if stuff hit the fan.

Terry

dwtaylor0
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by dwtaylor0 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:53 pm

Brain dump during work downtime:

How to make US and ARVN distinct? Do they even need to be?

Quality of leaders. ARVN gets lots of stick for issues, but US policies also meant that many commanders spend only 6 months in the field before rotating to positions in the rear. PAVN commander quality?

Core tension: CoC is about about doing the things you've read about in ideal situations. This conflict was really about making do. Are all conflicts like that, and the war in Vietnam just has gotten stuck with the label?

Platoon structures for forces that generally had to make do with whatever was available?

M113s were way more likely to wade into combat than M5s, so need mechanized platoons? Too powerful? M113s don't appear to have be allocated singly to foot infantry platoons, but Vietnam War game with no M113s seems wrong.

Helicopters?!?!?

Differences in communications affecting how mortar barrages work?

Artillery?!?!

Commissars? In my reading they bounced back and forth between military and political positions, so some sort of variations on a Senior Leader?

Looking at US Army manuals, seeing lots of battle drills/fire and movement. But I really don't have a sense of ARVN and PAVN training, so not able to compare/contrast very well.

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Seret
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by Seret » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:10 am

dwtaylor0 wrote: Core tension: CoC is about about doing the things you've read about in ideal situations.
Do you think so? One of the things about CoC I like is that it doesn't allow you to do it like the textbook. Your deployment positions and activation of forces are very much restricted, and the game is all about trying to pull of some semblance of a plan with limited resources. I think the mechanics will work well for any 20th century conflict at platoon level. My club has been playing a fair bit of WW1.
Helicopters?!?!?
Probably not needed on-board at this level, but could be reflected in deployment zones for certain scenarios. LZs could be important objectives or JoPs.
Artillery?!?!
Rules as written I'd say. Mortars only for a platoon-level game.
Looking at US Army manuals, seeing lots of battle drills/fire and movement. But I really don't have a sense of ARVN and PAVN training, so not able to compare/contrast very well.
ARVN would have been using the US manuals. The North Vietnamese were using Soviet doctrine which developed out of experience in WW2. There wasn't any emphasis on fire and manoeuvre, the general idea being a big arty stonk followed by a big infantry rush (and tanks if you've got 'em). According to that text book platoons would have attacked in a single wave.
In practice both NVA and VC proved capable of much more flexible tactics, and were quite able to execute things like probing attacks that the Russians didn't really trust their conscripts to pull off.

dwtaylor0
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by dwtaylor0 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:20 pm

Seret wrote:
dwtaylor0 wrote: Core tension: CoC is about about doing the things you've read about in ideal situations.
Do you think so? One of the things about CoC I like is that it doesn't allow you to do it like the textbook. Your deployment positions and activation of forces are very much restricted, and the game is all about trying to pull of some semblance of a plan with limited resources. I think the mechanics will work well for any 20th century conflict at platoon level. My club has been playing a fair bit of WW1.
I was overly broad/melodramatic here I think. The part where I think there might be a tension is in terms of platoon lists and army special rules. I'm not totally sure how to handle the massive variance in platoon organization and tactical approaches.

The rest of the rules are great and I've got no issues there.
dwtaylor0 wrote:Helicopters?!?!?
Probably not needed on-board at this level, but could be reflected in deployment zones for certain scenarios. LZs could be important objectives or JoPs.
You're probably right. I'd still like to figure out something for light scout/spotting helicopter support, but we'll see.
dwtaylor0 wrote:Artillery?!?!
Rules as written I'd say. Mortars only for a platoon-level game.
Artillery strikes on the board definitely don't have a place. I don't get the impression US/ARVN had a chance to use much in the way of preliminary bombardments. Still thinking about a preliminary bombardment style thing that can be called for in the middle of the game.

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Seret
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by Seret » Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:53 pm

dwtaylor0 wrote:I don't get the impression US/ARVN had a chance to use much in the way of preliminary bombardments. Still thinking about a preliminary bombardment style thing that can be called for in the middle of the game.
Depends what facet of the conflict you want to represent. It was a long war, and there were engagements ranging from patrolling COIN warfare to large set-piece battles between regulars using traditional combined arms tactics. What finally crushed South Vietnam was a conventional armoured offensive with plenty of tanks, artillery and air support from the NVA after all. Even the VC would stand and fight if they knew they were only facing ARVN (eg: Binh Gia, Ap Bac).

There were plenty of examples of both sides using artillery barrages. If the scenario was one that called for a stand up fight then allowing arty prep would be historically ok. In a lot of cases ROE would have been the restricting factor for US/ARVN. Any VC use of serious arty would have been more likely to be preplanned fires due to their lack of radios.

dwtaylor0
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by dwtaylor0 » Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:40 am

@Seret

Thanks for the feedback! Any particular books that you'd recommend to get a better sense of the Vietnam conflict at platoon (or any other) level that you'd recommend?

Edited to add: If anyone else has book recommendation, please let me know! One of my primary aims in working on this project was to gain a greater understanding of this conflict.

jarhead60mm
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by jarhead60mm » Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:33 pm

Hi dwtaylor0,
Books
Anything by Keith Nolan. I consider these some of the best books on Vietnam. Unfortunately he passed away a couple of years ago from cancer. I always looked forward to his next book.

Phase Line Green: The Battle for Hue, 1968 by Nicholas Warr Plt. commander

Lima 6 by Dick Camp and Eric Hammel Company commander Leatherneck Square and Khe Sanh.

The Hill Fights: The First Battle of Khe Sanh by Edward F. Murphy

Dak To: American Sky Soldiers in South Vietnam's Central Highlands by Edward F. Murphy.

By Eric Hammel
Ambush Valley
Khe Sanh: Siege in the Clouds
Fire in the Streets: The Battle for Hue

Last Stand at Khe Sanh by Gregg Jones Covered some things that I haven't read about in other Khe Sanh books.

Thats all I can remember for now. My books are all packed up.

Terry

exchook
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by exchook » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:55 pm

If you are after something to cover the Australians then I would recommend 'When the Buffalo Fight', 'The Battle of Long Tan' and 'The Battle of Coral' all by Lex McAulay.

The Battle of Long Tan is a company sized action with supports, but with platoons fighting individual action (at least early on in the fight) so would fit in with CoC nicely.

dwtaylor0
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by dwtaylor0 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:27 am

Thank you for the book recommendations!

One bit of info I've stumbled upon is that at least in theory, US troops would have all been trained to call in mortar/artillery fire. I don't have a sense of how good a random infantryman would be in comparison vs. a dedicated forward observer. As for adapting in-game, maybe any US unit with radioman can call mortar fire. But then would mortar support without an FO need to be on the support list?

I'd imagine ANZAC would have similar training, no idea about ARVN.

dwtaylor0
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Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by dwtaylor0 » Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:25 am

I would like to have some sort of helicopter on the field, but any sort of dedicated gunship or transport probably doesn't have a place on a table. The one helicopter that might make sense would be a Loach. Maybe LMG or MMG fire plus some sort of spotting? I would assume that a copter firing in this sort of context would want to get confirmation from forces on the ground before firing to avoid hitting friendlies. Maybe a command initiative from a Leader with radioman and spending a team die (a '1').

I've been reading 'Platoon Leader: A Memoir of Command in Combat' by James R. McDonough and one thing I thought was interesting is that twice his platoon has come under fire from enemies using M-79s as a mortar-style bombardment. While I had heard that the M-79 could be used indirectly, I hadn't read any firsthand accounts of it.

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