Beer Run

Beer Run

The battalion commander of 1/5 Infantry (mech) 25th ID, Bobcat6, had his resupply chopper full of hooch go missing somewhere in the vicinity of the Hobo Woods, near the old Michelin rubber plantation.  The Bravo company commander, Berserker6 has been tasked with the recovery of the hooch and any crew that may be left alive.  The reason for the crash is unknown...


The entire table is considered Open Woods (Tall terrain, see and be seen 12", concealment for everything) except for a patch of waist high elephant grass(Short terrain, concealment for infantry and gun teams) in the middle.


1st platoon is on point, their LT is a cherry straight outta college but his map reading skills have been good so far.  He thinks they're close so he orders the men out of the 'tracks' and they take up a position in front of them as they push through the lightly wooded area 



More of the company coming from the rear.


The silence is abruptly ended as a pair of hidden machine gun nests open up on the lead platoon.  Explosions fill the air as one of their transports is knocked out by an RPG and concentrated small arms fire wounds several of the men.  To the horror of the 1st platoon leader, he's walked his men straight into an NVA bunker complex, with a company sized element of PAVN regulars dug in right in front of him!  The fire immediately pins down his platoon and they hit the dirt.



The three wounded teams immediately fall back to a clearing of short elephant grass just as a medevac chopper is touching down.  ACAV's and Zippo's race forward to protect the flanks and fill the gaps left by the wounded teams.


2nd platoon arrives to the fight and moves up, eagerly hoping to engage the enemy and relieve 1st platoon who's currently pinned down.


The American forces return with furious firepower of their own, even calling in a fire-mission from the nearby 4.2 inch heavy mortar platoon although the FO took a few attempts to range them in.  The wild fusillade from the infantry and ACAV's is enough to pin down the enemy platoon and inflict a few minor losses.



Moments later an NVA platoon of 75mm recoilless guns opens up on the ACAV's and Zippo's from a hidden position.  Two Zippo crews are forced to bail out and two of the ACAV's are knocked out!



More fire from the machine gun nests and dug in infantry cause three more casualties and destroys two more M113's.  Things are not going well for new LT and he see's a desk job back at battalion HQ in his immediate future if he makes it out of this alive.



The company medic, 'Doc' Baxter gathers the wounded from 1st platoon and moves them to the casualty collection point and the waiting medevac just as the previously wounded teams hand off their wounded to the chopper crew and head back to 'the line'.


The medevac Huey takes-off and heads back to base to drop off the wounded.


Gunships loitering in the area nearby hear the call for close air support and hurtle into action, hammering the NVA recoilless gun platoon who had given away their postition after firing.  They don't live long enough to regret it as 7.62mm MG fire riddles their position.



The Zippo platoon bravely heads into close action, knocking out a bunker and spraying the dug-in infantry with liquid fire, causing massive casualties to the NVA.
 



The cause of the crashed resupply chopper reveals itself in the form of a 12.7mm AA platoon as it opens up on the gunships.  Two birds are hit and quickly plummet to Earth, smoking and burning on their way down.  The remaining gunships subsequently destroy two of the three AA positions.


But the Zippo's strike back, knocking out another machine gun nest and engulfing the nearby dug-in infantry with streams of fire causing some severe discomfort for the occupants of the foxholes.  The PAVN unit is virtually wiped out.



The CO, First Sergeant, and a pair of Patton's arrive to the rear of 2nd platoon.


Another large PAVN infantry unit deploys from hidden tunnels...


...and charges into the area around the crashed resupply Huey.  The NVA fire RPG's at the encroaching Zippo's and one explodes in a blinding flash of hot white light.




1st platoon puts down covering fire and moves in closer to the objective, causing casualties to the new NVA unit while the Zippo's knock out the third and final machine gun nest and create human torches out of some more PAVN infantry.



An NVA machine gun platoon fires on 2nd platoon from the tree-line causing a few wounds but is destroyed by return fire.



The new but somewhat crispy PAVN unit guarding the objective fires some ineffective RPG shots and tries to mass for an assault on the marauding ACAV's and Zippo's but is cut down by heavy defensive fire from 3 sides.


1st platoon and the as of now still alive cherry LT, combined with the remaining Zippo's and ACAV's relentlessly fire into the enemy formation near the objective and eliminate it.  PAVN reinforcements were still in the area but were not close enough to stop the Americans from recovering their dead and wounded from the crashed Huey so they retire back to the safety of their tunnel complexes, ready to fight another day.

The men of B Co, 1/5 INF (mech), 25th ID had recovered the hooch and won the day but at what cost?



Afterword:

This was a really great fight.  It was a really tense fight right from the start and I was losing vehicles fast due to poor tactics.  As the US commander I thought for sure the PAVN were going to win but the Zippo's just kept coming through for me.  They destroyed all 3 machine gun nests and pinned down and largely destroyed 2 full size infantry platoons all while dodging(or not!) a ton of RPG fire.  The ACAV's were the main screening force and did their job well, shielding the Zippo's so they could burn the place down.  The PAVN hadn't gotten 2 units from reserves in a single turn until turn 6 and that hurt them a lot.  When they finally did get them they ended up not being able to deploy close enough to contest the objective so the US won but the PAVN actually had more points so it was just a propaganda victory for me.  At two different points in the game, through the sheer destruction of M113's and gunships, the PAVN were within grasp of winning by having more than 6 victory points than the US but they couldn't quite manage it.  It was a very close match and lessons were learned on both sides.

The platoon of the match is definitely these boys
  

Comments

  1. Another fantastic AAR lomax! Love your terrain and models. How do you evaluate atk helo effectively??

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Recce! I'll just paste what I said over on the BF forums:

      As far as gunships go, they seem like a good value. At 10 points for 4 gunships you get way more bang for your buck when compared with a 10 point, 3 tube 105mm firebase setup. The MG's on the gunships just shred everything in sight that isn't within 8" of friendlies. Of course they come with a big trade-off, they aren't tough to shoot down and they're worth one victory point each. A 2 point PAVN 12.7 AA platoon shot down two of my gunships(5 points) in my last game coming straight out of reserves, it was brutal and almost cost me the game because the PAVN had already knocked out a bunch of my M113's and had the lead in VP's. I didn't use the rockets in my last game because artillery has been less effective for me and the MG's are just so devastating so it's hard not to use them all the time.

      I'm curious to hear other peoples impressions as well because positioning them can be really tough, they have to loiter frequently or risk getting an AA team dropped on them.

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  2. Great post, I will be a regular reader. RE your comment about the feebleness of M113s against RPGs, read Dwight Birdwell, A Hundred Miles of Bad Road, it's a fascinating book. I think it would be great to game this book by using the old Roadblock mission from v2.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Chuck glad to have you aboard, I'll check the book out. I definitely haven't read any Vietnam War books from that perspective. I've been kicking around ideas for a convoy mission too, I just need some trucks.

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  3. Great AAR! Your terrain is effective. Just enough to give the right feel without being cluttered.

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    1. Thanks, Buckeye. That's exactly what I'm hoping for.

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  4. Excellent AAR and a great looking game!

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  5. Atmospheric (what a beautiful terrain!) and great looking report, helicopters add a lot!

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