Some time yesterday afternoon I made a quick video at my frustration with the PF system. There were not enough heavy weapons.
There were too many infiltrations
There were not enough tanks based on historical data.
There….you get the picture. It was Turn 12. 3 precious squads had died dragging my VP total way down and I could see no way to win, with out potentially losing a lot of squads.
So I sounded off, announced a win for the Muj and decided to go upstairs and sulk.
……Next morning, with a fresh pair of eyes, I surveyed the board. It was pretty close. I reviewed the infil rules and realized I was not going to have too much trouble. The tactics I was using would keep the Muj in the box and not behind me.
Was I really going to let the loss of an extra squad or 3 stop me from “trying” to win? Did this game evoke such passionate desire to preserve the life of these Marines? Its just a dam game right? Having read the reports, some books on the battle itself, I had an affinity for these little pieces of cardboard, I realized!!
Catanagus was there somewhere. So to was Grapes, Pruitt, Sargeant Heflin, and PVC Davis. I had lost 3 squads already. I did not want the 3/5 to lose more men. Colonel Pat Maley would hate me.
What about those tanks? I had two rows of houses to clear. 42-61….sigh….no way.
Ahh what the hell, lets at least roll for suspects and play turn 13, I thought.
By the end of turn 13 it was worse. whilst I picked up a number of zones, I now had more step losses. BUT the good news was I had flushed a LOT of suspects with 1-5 rolls.
I then proceed to pound the zones with the Hornet, and 2 Chopper fly byes. Plus my last drone scan. What the hell, it will make the game go faster anyway and I had saved these missions for now anyway! So lets use them aggressively.
Suddenly there were a lot of empty active zones and the insurgent reaction to my rolls for support ended up not helping them at all.
I quickly pushed squads into empty Zones (56,58,59)! I pushed up the battalion reserve. Squeezed off rounds with abandon with my CAAT teams. The Muj melted away with lots of suspect rolls on defensive fire = 1-5 !!!! no units. I can make it….really?
On turn 15, I had one zone left. I made a mistake and close assaulted and left the Guerrilla in place.
Thinking he was a Martyr. The unit must exit, however. So that was it game over at T15.
I failed to keep accurate track of VPs near the end. Suffice to say it was indeed over 10 VPs, despite the 3 squads dead and use of Battalion resources. We had a turn bonus to boot.
So now what do I think?
I think that the Tanks for sure need to be able to move and fire in a turn (maybe at a +1 modifier?)
I think the c4 should be able to be used by non CAAT teams. I would provide for 1 explosives counter per squad.
The rules mostly work well. I think some of the modifiers are bit harsh when trying to hit with reduced or weaker units further degrading your offensive capabilities. The IIF are great back stops. But suck otherwise.
The wording around adjacency and neighboring is annoying, and I would have like to be able to discern more clearly on the map what is adjacent or neighboring or both. dot and dashes are fine, but a different color might have helped.
Now if we were to roll back the tape and see 50% of the suspects stay and end up as Guerrillas then I do not think the USMC would have won by collecting and securing all 61 zones. So we finally got lucky at the right time. I think this game has a lot merit. I am unsure what replay value there is. The variance options are Fortified zones and suspect location. Well that is not really enough I fear.
I will say that the game makes you think, makes you choose carefully about what resources you use to acquire a zone, what ammo types you expend and who you are prepared to lose. For some reason I bounded more tightly to my USMC than ever before, maybe because this is strictly a solo game?
It was a nice touch and added an emotive dimension that had me railing against the game and consequently cheering on the USMC when things went right!