S&T # 26 Grunts session 2

For game #2, we decided to use exactly the same set-up as in #1 (q.v.) and just total up the points from both games. Whoever had the most after two games would be the winner. We still were not using the artillery rules, and as there were no Commander units, porters or ARVN, we did not play with the leader or interrogation rules. Otherwise, it was a Standard game

Dan took all the pictures from the VC side since he had all the information. As you can see, he put most of his valuable caches in the jungle furthest from me and hardest to protect. I figured he might do that, but I didn’t have much of a choice. After bringing down his helicopter last game, I figured I needed to be careful to avoid losing any of mine. I separated my company into three groups. Alpha group, which included Company HQ, landed right in the middle of the map in the rough, protected from snipers by the raised highway that crosses the map. I did this to conserve my options–they could go up or down. Bravo team hit the bottom of the map, with one squad heading left to check out the out of the way items. Since I had put some valuable caches in the corners (where they would require a good deal of movement to get to), I figured Dan might do the same. Charlie team landed in the broken terrain next to the leftward jungle (all directions relative to the Americans).

I very quickly discovered Dan’s VC regulars in the leftward jungle as well as a sniper. Since it was clear where some of his other troops were (by their movement and/or positioning), I had a fix early on where the NVA’s forces were at all times, regardless of decoys. This was very useful, as I could now plan to bring my firepower to bear where it would be needed most. On the other hand, there was no way I could get at the two caches in the clear (middle bottom and upper right), and I suspected (correctly) that they were just rice anyway. I like rice, but not at the cost of 16 units of blood…

Dan was tricky here, though. His discovered VC squad sprinted into the jungle toward an unknown object. Was it a cache? A decoy? As the Americans closed, he then darted away. Was he trying to lead me away from something valuable? Or had his point been to lead me on a wild goose chase?

As it turned out, the answer was the latter. On the other hand, just by leading my squads into the jungle, he’d inadvertently positioned them to investigate the objects at its bottommost end. As you can see, there were two caches–one of ammo, one the radio. Because of the way I’d positioned my forces, and because his units in the Up took too long to come down, there was nothing he could do to stop me from taking them.

So the American strategy was a success even though Bravo and Alpha teams found nothing but peasants and decoys. The Charlie team not only destroyed the ammo cache, but also walked off with the radio. Frustratingly, I was three movement points short of taking the rice cache in the middle of the map. Lack of mobility really forces you to make hard choices. I understand that the update (Search and Destroy) doubles the movement, which allows you to hit more of the map, but takes away those decisions, I’d think. Interestingly enough, I do not believe any shots were exchanged this game. The VC couldn’t afford it, and the Americans never risked it. Total American points–60, VC–75 (just the handicap). That gave me a win for the two games at 215 to 200.

Coming up soon, the Review!

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