Sunday, April 12, 2015

Battlegroup 'NAM Material

So lots of chatter about the Battlegroup series of rules going modern with "NORTHAG '84" and in the spirit of that I thought I would do a little more work with my "Battlegroup: 'NAM" supplement I've been working on.
One of the biggest challenges with converting to more modern battles is the question of firepower.  Gone are your "Bolt Action Rifle" equipped rifle sections.  In their place are Assault Rifle toting infantry with automatic weapons, light and medium machine guns, and it seems like every squad has a LAW or RPG to carry along with it.  Squads must be broken down into their proper sections and teams or you're likely to have a very short game on your hands!

Surprisingly I turned to an old source for building out a proper squad MTOE for Battlegroup - Iron Ivan Games' Vietnam supplement for "Disposable Heroes."  While I gave away the main rules for DH, I still had an extra copy of "Long Road South" laying around and thought it would be perfect to use to build out Squad and Platoon Modified Table of Organization and Equipment to put together a "Battlegroup" game.

If anyone has thoughts, I'm all ears but here's what I've come up with so far:

US Army Squad / Fireteam in Vietnam (11 man section, but with a 2 man attrition built in)

Squad Leader: M16 Firepower (FP) 2 at 10" and under / FP 1 at 11" and greater.

Alpha Team:
Team Leader:  M16 FP 2 at 10" and under / FP 1 at 11" and greater.
Grenadier: M79 "Thumper" FP 3 minimum 6" range.  Rated as Very Light HE.  Fired separately.
Rifleman: M16 FP 2 / FP 1
Rifleman: M16 FP 2 / FP 1
Purchase 1 additional rifleman

Bravo Team:
Team Leader:  M16 FP 2 at 10" and under / FP 1 at 11" and greater.
Grenadier: M79 "Thumper" FP 3 minimum 6" range.  Rated as Very Light HE.  Fired separately.
Rifleman: M16 FP 2 / FP 1
Rifleman: M16 FP 2 / FP 1
Purchase 1 additional rifleman

Add on M60 Team (x 3 men) for additional points.
Squad can be "leg" infantry, mechanized, motorized, or aero-rifle (heliborne).

I have not come up with any points values or breakpoint values yet.  Still working on that.

NVA / PAVN Squad / Section

First Section:
Squad Leader: AK47 FP 2 / FP 1
Rifleman/Ass't Gunner: AK47 FP 2 / FP 1

Second Section:
Corporal: Ak47 FP 2 / FP 1
Grenadier: RPG 7 FP 3 Very Light HE / Anti-Tank "2"
Rifleman: AK47 FP 2 / FP 1
Rifleman: AK47 FP 2 / FP 1
Rifleman: AK47 FP 2 / FP 1
Rifleman: AK47 FP 2 / FP 1

Also because I wouldn't want to leave any treadheads out, here are the new and improved stats and vehicle cards for the M48A3 and the M113 in Vietnam:

If anyone is interested, the unit crest in the upper right is the 1st Battalion, 77th Armor, one of the 3 M48 Battalions who served in Vietnam.

Also, if anyone is interested in reading, I found a fascinating white paper written by a Major at the Command & General Staff College about the evolution of the US Army fireteam and its role in small unit tactics.  It talks about the US Army's development of squad tactics, and the evolution of the concept of the small fireteam built around a decent squad automatic weapon.

 If you're interested in any post-ww2 gaming, it's a must have!

You can access the paper here.


  1. I like where this is going!

    For the NVA, it might be worth considering having them fielded as one big group. Less flexibility but also less points to activate so its easier for the Communist player to get the human wave effect. Thats the approach BG Kursk took to reflect the disparity in training between the Germans and the Soviets at that time

    For the M113 - I don't recall if you need to worry about HMG ammunition. I think its only heavy calibre stuff you need to worry about

    For the M48 - it could also carry Canister/Beehive rounds, though in practice not too many were available so you should max it out at maybe 2 or 3 per vehicle

    1. Paul,
      That's a great idea! I didn't even think about BG Kursk and the larger Russian squads vrs German teams. This is kind of like the same thing I would imagine.

      Good thinking about the HMG for the M113 as well. I assigned it a PEN value because it has one in Team Yankee and that's where my Armor / Penetration values come from.

      Also - an excellent idea for Beehive rounds for the M48. What would you say that is? HE 6/3+ or maybe even 8/3+ but use a cone or template for everything inside?

      Hey I'm going to be playing a BG: REFORGER game in honor of "Battlegroup:NORTHAG" coming out. Going to use a scenario from the old SPI "Fireteam" game since it's a 1:1 game system.

    2. Glad you like my suggestions! I think BG: N might answer a lot of our questions actually. Any idea of when its due out? I think its still very early days

      I think the Beehive would definitely generate a cone style of effect but it might be simpler to say you can target a particular enemy unit and get spill over along the LOF.

      I remember Fireteam! Lots of fun.

      Just finished reading an excellent 'Nam book this week - watch my blog for details later this week. Got me itching to get a handful of 28mm figs and do some light infantry skirmishing around a ville...

    3. The other idea I had was a special rule for VC and NVA forces: "Masters of Camoflague". Adds an additional negative modifier for spotting them when they are in any cover.

    4. Paul,
      Outstanding suggestions - I have no clue when BG: NORTHAG is due out. They are being tight-lipped about it on Facebook - only saying it's still in its infancy and there is much work to do.
      Fireteam is perfect for BG scenario generation. Fireteam sized activation units and single vehicles! What's not to love?
      I will keep my eyes posted to your blog - congrats on the great milestone BTW!

      Also - that's a cool idea for VC / NVA. I will have to give my Battlegroup: NAM supplement a whirl sooner than I initially thought :)

  2. PS consider that masters of camouflage rule done!