Monday, December 30, 2013

LZ Mike - A Vietnam FFT3 Battle Report

I played a 15mm Vietnam game today and, quite unusually, I used the Fistful of TOWS 3 rules for the infantry battle.  Think of the famous LZ "X-Ray" battle although this one started quite differently, the results (so far) are largely the same.

The scenario is largely the same.  The US Forces conduct an air-assault for a subsequent movement-to-contact and end up making contact quite literally on the Landing Zone (henceforth referred to as an LZ).  The US forces have roughly an Air Assault infantry battalion with a platoon of UH-1B Huey Hogs, 2 batteries of 105mm guns and of course 81mm battalion mortars on the LZ with the "sky soldiers."

touching down on LZ Mike

view from the sister-ship "journey three one"

more slicks touching down - camera photo from the LZ

A Company moves out 

C Company on the other size

choppers departing.  gunships orbiting under direct control of the Battalion fire support officer (FAC)

US forces prep for contact!

battle-hardened NVA troopers burst from the woodline!  US Artillery and mortars start to work them over

within striking distance!  US 105 shells land in front of the advancing NVA regulars and keep the lead platoons suppressed.
Battle started out slowly as I rolled for the arrival of the NVA troops.  Each battalion arrived on its own good time and this allowed the US to maximize its fires (including the first of 2 airstrikes from an A-4).  The firepower is keeping the NVA suppressed in front of A Company on the Northwest side of the LZ.  The US loses its heavy weapons teams with A Company to NVA small arms but so far they're holding.  It's not the jail-break I thought it would be.
US troopers fighting it out!

first NVA assault starts to break down

US Fire Support Officer is busy at work.  Meanwhile the infantry try and even the odds with their M16s.

strafing run!  the UH-1s cannon attacks were fun.  I "had" planned on using the rockets next turn...

US reinforcements from D Company are suppressed by a 120mm mortar from the NVA's regimental weapons section.

tracers start zinging by the hog...

uh oh...the ZPU-1 brings down the gunship in the vicinity of the first battle.  Meanwhile more NVA platoons are knocked out.  Their assault on the GIs goes forward with only 2 platoons.  They knock out the HQs section with the FSO and a single US platoon remains.

meanwhile to the south of the LZ, another NVA attack is shaping up!

Fresh NVA troops from the second battalion are pouring over the hill!

US suppressed by 82mm mortars and some luck

intense firefight starts to even the odds in the US favor

and losses force the NVA's second battalion from this battle to fall back.  Time for a different approach?

aero-scouts notice more NVA reinforcements this time approaching from the southwest.  the US commander shifts some platoons towards a small gulley along side hill 210 to plug the last remaining hole in the LZ.  It's do or die time!

The NVA's third wave!  They must succeed!!!

And that's it for today's fight.  The US infantry have so far managed to hold the NVA at bay in each engagement so a shift in tactics may be necessary.  Without the gunship on the LZ anymore, it might be a little easier.  The US Artillery isn't making it any easier either as suppressed stands lose half their movement.  There are 2 NVA battalions left out there to try and sweep over the LZ.  One will attack from the southwest and one will attack from the northeast (thus all 4 corners of the table are covered!)

Tune in tomorrow as we post the conclusion of the battle!


  1. Enjoying the report so far. Tell you the truth, I'm rooting for the NVA. Do you know: I've never before read a wargame account in which the NVA came close, let alone actually won! Sucker for the underdog, I am...

    1. Archduke,
      I try playing as objectively as possible since usually it's only me but I have to admit I usually root for the "home team". I'll tell you what - I posted a blog post in early 2012 of a Vietnam game with US GIs against Vietcong irregulars (it was a Coldwar Commander game) and the VC almost carved out a victory. They destroyed the only US armor platoon and literally the only US option was to launch massive air-strikes to extricate their cut off company from annihilation. I would say at least their ambush was entirely successful!

      In this game, I am thinking the NVA is going to lose - their attacks were just too ill=timed. However if the battalions struck at about the same time, I think they would have won. In this instance, the US could move platoons around the battlefield and mass appropriately.

      I want to play this game with a different timetable for reinforcements and using the Cold War Commander rules. Thank you for commenting!

  2. Yes more please!

    Time for "Spad" support!

    1. Paul,
      SPAD support not available at this time! (because I don't have any additional models built!!!) Hope you liked the write up. There are some more attacks planned for first light. The NVA couldn't break through today. We'll see what happens tomorrow.


  3. Great stuff! Great looking tabletop, vehicles and figures mate