Saturday, February 18, 2012

Disposable Heroes: Long Road South Game

Played my first modern variant of Disposable Heroes with the "Long Road South" supplement.  Game pitted 1 American Squad, 1 M60 LMG Section, and 1 Platoon Headquarters Section against a Vietcong "Main Force" Platoon Command Section, a Rifle Squad with RPD, an RPD Section, and an RPG Section.

Additionally the VC had a dude armed with an SKS rifle in a pop up attack who would come up out of a spider hole later in the game!

The action started out right away (I have a small table...) with the VC engaging the American flank elements as they were trying to get into position.  (The VC won initiative almost every time with their guts value of 9 and the US troops value of 8.)
US Forces advance through rice paddies in Vietnam ca 1969

Main Force Viet Cong troopers take up position in a rubble heap.

VC RPD / HQ Section readies itself for the ambush!

The VC engaged the US M60 section with their RPD and on the first round knocked out the entire M60 team!  Luckily the Platoon HQs was right there to assault through!  They moved up and immediately engaged the VC who were in a makeshift "bunker" which was actually a log wall.
US M60 section knocked out, Platoon HQs and B Team return fire and assault through the Ambush!

Platoon Command Section returning fire.

Unfortunately Fireteam A was already advancing in a different direction, so Fireteam B and the Platoon HQs became a squad for the case of the game.  A firefight ensued and the VC brought in their RPG section.
Long story short?  The US Fireteam eventually moved into position to flank the VC and open fire on them while fireteam B moved up through the orchard for the kill.
Team A advancing.

Team B on the move, flanking the enemy.

A short but vicious close combat ensued on the rubble pile.  American forces took down the VC defender and exacted vengeance for a "snap fire" kill earned while advancing into close combat!
chaos.  Note all the knocked out VC.  The guy with 2 red beads just fell back from his position.

VC Officer returns fire!

Close Combat over.  Americans win this one but just barely!  I think I got the close combat rules down now.

The game was quick and bloody and I have to say, alot of fun.

Thoughts and Lessons Learned about the DH System.

Right off the bat - this game was alot of fun.  It was intense and the casualties were realistic.  I like how only 50% of troops can fire under certain circumstances and here is my example:  When the platoon HQs came under fire, the runner was hit and went down in the firefight.  When the HQs section returned fire, they were only able to do so with the PL's stand.  I find this incredibly realistic since the other guy in the HQs section would have been tending to the wounded rifleman.

Additionally, the RPG team naturally has another guy servicing the launcher and not firing his own AK.  This is a great feature and Iron Ivan got it right with this restriction.

Remember to use the principles of fire and movement.  Have a fireteam to suppress the enemy (preferably with a SAW or LMG) and advance on the enemy with another fireteam.

You need a larger game with more "stuff" to fully take advantage of the unique activation rules for the modern variant!  I only had about 3 to 4 units on a side and both units had activation chits left over when the turn ended.

Have a quick reference sheet or write down your stats prior to the game starting.  It helped me out to have my figure stats in front of me so I didn't have to track down other stuff while tracking down rule questions.

Sneaky VC conducts a pop-up attack against an American fireteam.
At least with the Long Road South Game, remember to read, and make sure you're using the special rules.  The VC player used his pop up attack to great advantage and scored a casualty against an American trooper.

Ensure that when you are close-assaulting you A. Bring enough guys with you [ 3:1 ratio is recommended for close combat] B ensure you have mutually supporting units if you're on the defensive.  The VC guys could have used some more muscle on the rubble pile and were outnumbered without any supporting guns.

Well my M79 bloop gun and RPG-7 didn't make much of a difference at all.  The AP 2 value for the RPG didn't do much to anyone and didn't come close to wounding anyone!  Same with the M79.  That was a let-down but I understand the logic behind not having too many crazy-dominant weapons on the field.

I don't like how fireteams operate seemingly independently when a platoon leader is on the field.  At least in US doctrine, fireteams "typically" operate within close proximity to each other.  In this game, Fireteam A was its own entity and Fireteam B was its own show as well.  Technically this was ok and the game felt just fine, but in the back of my mind it irked me a little...

The final analysis?  Go out and purchase Disposable Heroes: Coffin for 7 Brothers!  The game is crisp and realistic.  Additionally, the game is very easily "tweaked" if you want to slightly change a value.  I for one did not find a need to although I might in the future.  I liked it so much I bought the modern supplement and the Vietnam supplement, and i have plans to purchase Angriff, Urrah, and Go Forward Together.  My biggest issue is that I don't have enough guys painted to field a full platoon for WWII or Modern yet.  But that will come in time! What a great game. Huzzah!


  1. I'm new to modern gaming having only played a couple of games of Force on Force but this sounds like an interesting alternative

  2. Hi David,
    I own both Force on Force and Disposable Heroes although I have not played a Force on Force game yet. FOF looks like alot of fun. DH is very much more my style so far.


  3. Great AAR. Love the terrain, minis and the action.
    LRS, 'Search Out, Close With and Destroy' as well as Disposable Heroes are a winning combination that has given our group many fun hours of gaming both moderns and WWII.

  4. Thanks Peabody - I try to keep the AARs interesting.
    I really have enjoyed LRS and SOCW&D as well as DH/C7B so far. I'm getting ready to play a modern, Iraq variant of SOCW&D as my next DH game. LIke I wrote, my biggest regrets are not having enough painted minis to get a full platoon on the board.

    Looking forward to some larger battles centered around platoons with a few AFVs in support. Thanks for commenting!