Sunday, January 10, 2010

Search and Destroy at Dak-Po

We played Ambush Valley - Search and Destroy at Dak Po.

The US have been ordered to investigate a nearby hamlet named Dak Po which is known for its VC sympathizers.  "Lt. Walsh, go in to Dak Po and check for VC supplies and weapons caches.  Remember to follow the code and do not shoot unless provoked. This is an area known for VC so be sure to be alert.  I am sending a Kit Carson with you to scout ahead."The US consisted of the Command Squad Lt. Walsh, an RTO, Medic and Kit Carson Scout.  Squad One Sgt Maxwell, M79, 3x M16, Corporal Henderson, M60, Asst. M60.  OP Squad Sgt Hopper, RTO (with 81mm Mortars support).  Squad Two Sgt Baker, M79, 3x M16, Corporal Peterson, M60, Asst M60.  US Troop Quality and Morale D8

The US broke up their platoon into two squads each having a support being lead by the RTO Ops section and the HQ section.  The Kit Carson was placed by himself to ferret out VC with Squad One under Sgt Maxwell..  Sgt Baker and Squad Two took up the other flank with Sgt Hopper and the RTO providing support if necessary.

The VC setup in the hootches splitting up Squad One into two teams. Their mission was to get the porters out and move supplies off the road that Squad Two entered on.  To accomplish this Leader Ho Ban Koo set the escort squad to take the porters though the woods while the VC cadre inside the hootches and posing as civilians would keep the attention of the US so the porters could achieve their victory.  Several runners were sent to gather reinforcements from nearby Local VC.

On turn one the  Kit Carson scout moved down the road and was ambushed by a small cell of four VC hiding in the triple canopy jungle.  The Kit Carson passed his check and noticed the VC before they could ambush.  The reaction roll however resulted in the Kit Carson being able to fire first and he was able to wound one of the gunmen.  Returning fire the VC shot up the Kit Carson causing a light wound.  Sgt Maxwell's squad following the Kit Carson seeing him fall moved to support and opened fire on the VC unit beating them in the reaction check and causing heavy casualties.  The VC unit fails the morale check and is shaken.

Sgt Hopper's OP team moves down the trail hearing the gun fire and hearing the radio chatter of First Squad is on edge.  As they clear a bend they are ambushed by a VC who pops out of a spiderhole and fires a few half hearted shots in the direction of the unit.  Private Jones is hit but the bullet only grazes his flack jacket which saves him from a trip to the doctor's.

The OP team moves to return fire but the lone VC escapes back into the woods before they are able to return fire.  Continuing on both Squad Two and the OPs team are much more aware of their surroundings and keep their eyes peeled for Victor Charlie.  Corporal Peterson investigates the spider hole and finds documents and a picture of an attractive Vietnamese lady.  The documents seem to be some sort of indigenous paper.  It is decided by the OPs team to return these documents to HQ and Intelligence for further scrutiny.

The VC squad led by Ming Ta Do escort the porters and the cache of supplies past the Squad Two.

The end of the turn results in casualty rolls for the Kit Carson having a light wound.  Both of the VC that were hosed down by Squad One are KIA.  The Shaken VC turns out to have a light wound and is taken prisoner by the Private Long. A VC reinforcements roll indicates a Maxium Machinegun team of three.

Turn Two starts by the US player placing both Squad One and Squad Two on Overwatch.  The Doc is able to patch up the Kit Carson scout. Private Anderson unfortunately fails so see a hidden booby trap and is impaled by a spike board.  His body is recovered by Squad One and the trap is destroyed. Ming Ta Do's squad continues slipping past Squad Two.  The Machinegun team sets up off the road in a good position. No other Victor Charlie activity occurs during this turn.  The VC roll reinforcements of five VC armed with Bolt Action rilfes and a leader which pop up near Squad One for next turn.

Turn Three has Sgt Maxwell placing the Kit Carson on overwatch and having Squad One make a sweep of the woods.  There they encounter the emerging Victor Charlie group of five and the leader.  A reaction roll results in Squad One being able to ambush Victor Charlie.  Heavy firepower with the support of the M60 and the Blooper leave the VC with only the leader surviving who miraculously makes his morale check and then shoots back and get a casualty on Corporal Henderson.  Squad Two encounter more resistance as three VC open up with SMGs from optimal range causing hits but failing to cause casualties.  Private Markson was heard to remark on the effectiveness of the flack jackets.  Squad Two returns fire and causes two casualties.

Turns Four through Six has the US moving up towards the town.  They encounter heavy VC resistance but are able to suffer no casualties and cause grievous damage to the enemy.  The machine gun team positon in the center of the road is able to get off two rounds before they succumb to the firepower of Squad One.  Unfortunately Corporal Henderson is wounded as he attempts to duck for cover by the machine gun nest.  A civilian group of Vietnamese rush from the gunfire toward the US crying "Save Us!" as another machine gun nest (rolled for as reinforcements on turn five) plows through them into Squad Two beyond.

Turn Seven has Ming Ta Do's squad returning from escorting the porters minus two riflemen.  They charge the rear of the US position rushing the RTO from the OPs team. The RTO is able to run to Squad Two and join them before Ming Ta Do's charge slams into Squad Two.  Squad Two opens fire and causes three of the six to drop as casualties.  In the ensuing close combat the US take one casualty and the remaining VC are slain and Ming Ta Do is taken prisoner.  Meanwhile the six VC open fire from inside a Hootch suprising Squad Two which is able to avoid being hit again due to their flack jackets and then return fire killing all the VC in the building.

On Turn Eight Ma Foo Lin's squad prepares an ambush in the jungle along the path of Squad One.  The Kit Carson scout is able to identify the signs of the ambush however and the US squad lays down suppressive fire which causes Ma Foo Lin's squad to become shaken before they can return fire as Ma Foo Lin takes one to the head.

Turn Nine has the VC player (me) telling the US player that they are probably going to win.  At this point the VC bodycount was in the high 30's.  The US had lost two KIA and one WIA.  They had also captured several VC including a squad leader.

At this point commander Ho Ban Koo leading the VC forces orders his men into the tunnels and out of Dak Po.  The final score US 35 VC KIA, 4 WIA (POWs).  VC 2 US KIA, 1 US WIA and two civilians killed by the US. In addition, the VC were able to get the +20 points for successfully escorting the porters off the board edge where Squad Two entered.  It was a marginal US victory only because time ran out before they had time to secure the hootches. Final score 37 US 26 VC.  Private Anderson and Private Markson are returned home in body bags and given the Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart posthumously.  Corporal Henderson receives a Purple Heart for being wounded in the line of fire.

VCs Dead atop Boot Hill....

I think next time I will use the optional rules for the flack jackets so as to not make them as useful as they were in this game.  Traditionally the flak jackets were either not worn or left open by the soldiers as they were bulky and caused more harm than good.  Most M60 gunners and asst gunners would use the ammo wrapped around them as protection.

Overall it was a lot of fun.  The VC are a lot of fun in this scenario because they just keep coming.  This is a double edged sword however as the US gain victory points for killing them.


  1. I like the look of it. 1/72 scale?

  2. Yah! Sounds like a great game.

  3. This game was Ambush Valley but we play using Charlie Company, FNG, FNG:UW and Where's Charlie. I enjoy all of them for different reasons.

  4. Yes, we are lucky to have so many fine choices when it comes to gaming this conflict.
    I'm looking forward to giving Ambush Valley a go, and FNG 2nd Tour is due out fairly soon too!

    Lots of fun ahead. :)