Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Moderators: Laffe, Vis Bellica

User avatar
Peabody
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:50 pm
Location: The Wet Coast, Canada

Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by Peabody »

Good list. Some things, like the M577 could be incorporated into a JOP, obligating the owning player to protect them more. Seems like a good way for a platoon sized game to represent a small part of a larger action.

I agree the big mortars may not belong on the table, but as an off-table asset they make sense.

No doubt I'm just stating the obvious, but I'm not comfortable with a Gun Truck on a regular support list. Definitely required for cool ambush scenarios however, and folks want to play with their gun truck models, so the stats are needed.

Now if there was a list representing the elements that protected convoys? That would be pretty darn cool. Would require some very specific scenarios.

Also, needs more Helicopter. ;)

PAVN tanks... Well there is always Lang Vei.
Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers. P. Cushing
Peabody Here! Blog thingy.

User avatar
Arlequín
Posts: 1290
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:29 pm
Location: King's Vale Royal

Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by Arlequín »

It's the same with any potential setting, there are things which should be on the table and things which should not... and sometimes that depends on the action being represented, as much as the weapon itself. The minimum range for a 4.2" mortar is 218 yards for example.

As Peabody says, you will usually only find a gun-truck on convoy escort, or base defence. Similar stories with other weapon types. Generic lists are okay to a point but the temptation to field anything everywhere has to be resisted.

You can also add the M56 Scorpion (173rd Airborne), the M50 Ontos and the LVTP-5/LVTH-6 Amtracs (USMC) to the list.

;)

dwtaylor0
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:21 am

Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by dwtaylor0 »

Would the Jeep fall into a similar category as the gun truck? (i.e. Probably only used for convoys and base defense)

Reading more about the M728, it seems like a pretty specialized vehicle

The Scorpion is really cool looking, I think the fact it was only used by the 173rd probably means it should get left off a 'generic' list.

Giving more thought to NVA/PAVN armor I'm inclined categorize it with gun trucks in that rules should absolutely exist, but should probably be restricted to specific scenarios.

dwtaylor0
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:21 am

Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by dwtaylor0 »

I've been trying to come up with more/better force specific rules for the US Army but have hit a wall. NVA/PAVN doctrine seems relatively easy to summarize (caricature?) with a focus on field-craft and ambush. I've read some US Army field manuals (including the one Arlequín linked, thanks for that!) but I'm not getting a distinct flavor. The manuals have a fair bit of fire and maneuver, but that's standard for basically all armies during and post WW2 isn't it? Perhaps the 'force flavor' should really come from the depth and power of the support lists rather than special rules?

User avatar
Peabody
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:50 pm
Location: The Wet Coast, Canada

Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by Peabody »

Hmmm...

I have been focusing on 'early USMC', so fire-teams and the M-14a1 as a base of fire, lots of weird helicopters and interesting kit.
Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers. P. Cushing
Peabody Here! Blog thingy.

dwtaylor0
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:21 am

Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by dwtaylor0 »

Having given it a bit more thought, I think my desire to be generic is getting me into trouble. The way an air-mobile force vs. a mechanized force vs. a foot patrol force fight are likely distinct enough to require unique support lists and maybe rules as well.

User avatar
Peabody
Posts: 237
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:50 pm
Location: The Wet Coast, Canada

Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by Peabody »

Agreed. Few, if any, of the CoC lists are truly generic, so going that route may just be asking for headaches... ;)
Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers. P. Cushing
Peabody Here! Blog thingy.

User avatar
Arlequín
Posts: 1290
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 11:29 pm
Location: King's Vale Royal

Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by Arlequín »

Flavour is as flavour does, the U.S. Army was totally generic, that is its flavour lol. Every formation used the same basic platoon organisation, with some quite small adjustments at best. Unlike the British Army where you start and end your career in the same regiment, the U.S. Army can post someone across a variety of units/arms of service during their service. Obviously in the USMC every Marine begins as a rifleman and in CoC terms, recon platoons aside, the standard USMC rifle platoon is pretty much it.

I gather they were somewhat doctrine bound too, with officers frequently asking for 'new doctrines' to suit the war in Vietnam. Essentially junior officers were largely trying to apply the tactics learnt from the FM to their Vietnam situation, having only learnt that way of doing things.

I'm sure some officers were experimenting once they'd got some experience, but by the time anything became close to being tried and tested, their tours would have been over and it was back to the world and a different posting. I gather the USMC was more proactive in this sense and would make ad hoc changes to suit their immediate needs.

The old adage that the VC/NVA fought Vietnam with one army for ten years, while the Americans fought it with ten different armies, one year at a time, may not be strictly true, but does make the point.

Where you do get a difference is between different arms. 'Infantry' are pretty much similar, whatever their type, with subtle differences between Airborne/Helibourne/Leg infantry and Mech infantry, but ACAV worked very differently, largely changing from the U.S. doctrine to the South Vietnamese style of using the M113 as a light tank rather than as an APC.

They were also far more flexible from the start though and the usual platoon shown (4 ACAV, M113, M106 & 2 M48) was just one option open to a commander and far less rigidly followed than is usually mentioned... even their FM of '62 shows this. Some units routinely used just two or three Scout sections of pairs of ACAVs, or even M113s turned into ACAVs and never fielded their M48s and M106s outside of their bases.

The ACAV's 'dismountable infantry squad' largely disappeared due to the need to cover casualties and leave in any case, so each M113, ACAV, or otherwise, was reduced to just carrying MG gunners and a Grenadier, with perhaps an additional rifleman in some.

So for me a generic 'infantry list' would work, providing there were restrictions (no helibourne M48 tanks), but otherwise a different list would only be needed if a different arm was being represented... ACAV, or Aero-rifle for example.

Saladin
Posts: 49
Joined: Thu Sep 05, 2013 8:04 am

Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by Saladin »

Lots of discussion of American concerns - not so much for the Vietnamese. The elephant in the room, of course, is that if things are not going well, the US strategy is just to hunker down and wait for support, whole for the VC it's just to fade away and fight another day. Neither of those make for interesting skirmish level games.

The only way I'd run CoC for Vietnam is as a cooperative game, with the VC/NVA run by the Umpire. Then it becomes a game where players have to react to changing circumstances - and you might actually get to use some of the ideas discussed.

dwtaylor0
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:21 am

Re: Trying to adapt CoC to the Vietnam Conflict

Post by dwtaylor0 »

Saladin wrote:Lots of discussion of American concerns - not so much for the Vietnamese.
This is one of the major concerns I've had. As an American who only speaks English, I have lots of resources on hand for reading about US tactics. VC/NVA primary sources are hard to come by, translated primary sources are even harder.

This assumes that you're talking about VC/NVA when you refer to 'the Vietnamese', ARVN are second in line in terms of additional army lists I intend to write. I'll cop to a certain amount of ethnocentrism at best and racism at worst when it came to my initial choice of 'Free World Force'. As above, the easy access to primary sources didn't hurt either.
Saladin wrote:The elephant in the room, of course, is that if things are not going well, the US strategy is just to hunker down and wait for support, whole for the VC it's just to fade away and fight another day. Neither of those make for interesting skirmish level games.
While it certainly does not wholly address your concerns, I chose to start with the NVA/PAVN exactly because they were a more willing to engage than their VC counterparts. Additionally, choices in the scenarios chosen could help. For example scenario two (The Probe) could be contextualized as NVA trying to break out at one point of an encirclement. Scenario four (A Delaying Action) could be FWF forces trying to hold back enemies at the edge of an LZ, or an overnight patrol encampment getting hit.
Saladin wrote:The only way I'd run CoC for Vietnam is as a cooperative game, with the VC/NVA run by the Umpire. Then it becomes a game where players have to react to changing circumstances - and you might actually get to use some of the ideas discussed.
I'm unclear on how an umpire would fix the potential problems. Why wouldn't the umpire have the VC quickly hit and run anymore than a player? Why wouldn't the players just hunker down and make calls for artillery or air support?

Post Reply