Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Battle for LZ X-Ray - Planning Considerations

Here are some terrific products I got from the GHQ website.  This is a good laydown of the battle and this is the exact map I'm going to use for the fight.

THe OOB is also pretty similar to what I'll be fielding - modified of course for the Cold War Commander rules set.  (which I will post tomorrow for everyone to see).

From the excellent GHQ Website's "Free Stuff" section - this is the map for the Battle.
The American OOB.  For Cold War Commander, instead of generic "support" stands, I will have HMG stands and will represent the mortars stand at Battalion, under the control of the Battalion HQs.  Additionally I will have 1 flight of F4 Phantoms orbiting for close air support (CAS) with Snake Eyes and Napalm!

The Glorious People's Army - I am going to use GHQ's suggestion and  each Battalion will be independent of one another with a Command Value of "7" because that's all that was available to me.  The support stands will be either 82mm mortars with larger tubes available at Regiment or Recoiless Rifles of which I have 3.


For Scenario Planners some thoughts - During the actual battle the troopers of 1-7 Cavalry were faced with some tough choices especially when conducting the initial Air Assault.  With the lack of enough lift to move all of the men in at one shot, the Battalion was strung out over3 to 4 major lifts and did not have the bulk of its combat power on the ground right away.

The way I will simulate this is to actually USE the 4 flights of Transport helos I "bought" in Cold War Commander to ferry in the troop stands each turn until everyone is boots on the ground.  When you accurately plan it out, the Americans will take roughly 4 turns to get the entire battalion on the ground.  Pretty God-awful if you ask me - especially considering there is an entire Regiment falling on your position!!!

The NVA will be forced to deploy at his entry points as indicated on the map using Mobile deployment.  Here's the kicker though  - once he successfully arrives at the EP, he stops until his next turn to begin movement towards LZ X-Ray.  That should give the Americans a little bit of a fighting chance without having them over-run with only 3 stands on the board on turn 2!!

Another consideration was "how much is too much Artillery?"  Well as a red blooded American I can tell you that there is NEVER enough but in this instance the US Player has at his disposal an amazing retinue of fire support assets from 81mm mortars all the way up to fast-movers.  From a fire-support perspective, you'll use everything in your tool box - and you should!  You are fighting THREE Nine-stand Battalions each with organic mortars and each company is outnumbered at least 3.4 to 1...

I'm thinking 12 turns should accurately represent the battle with enough time for the NVA (PAVN) to win or lose.  same for the US player.  With all of his troops on the board at the end of turn 5 and no hope for reinforcements, He really has 7 turns after that where he must hold at all costs.

To be perfectly honest I cannot wait to play this.  If I wasn't so darned obsessive compulsive, I'd cut out cardboard counters and play the damn game with just them!

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