Friday, June 22, 2012

Operation Silver Bayonet - The Battle for LZ X-Ray

Recently I was re-reading some stuff on the famous battle fought by the US Air Cavalry in Vietnam for a small clearing known famously as "Landing Zone X-Ray."

Some of my favorite all-time games are games where a defender is desperately hanging on in spite of heavy odds and prevails.  Stories of Gettysburg and the Battle of the Bulge where defenders hang on by their fingernails are the stuff of military legends.

My buddy Dave F and I have explored military history and gaming for a long time now, and both of us very much enjoy Cold War what-if's.  Well the story of LZ X-Ray is an actual engagement where the defenders, a roughly battalion-sized task force, held out for days against a well-armed, highly motivated, and well trained adversary, on his own ground!  What more could you ask for!!
With that said, I am opening the LZ X-Ray Project!  I am going to re-fight the Battle of LZ X-Ray using 15mm miniatures (Command Decision's mediocre Vietnam Range) with Pete Jones' outstanding Cold War Commander rules.

X-Ray has been refought on the tabletop numerous times by some great wargamers like the Club Le Shakko in France as well as on the Junior General Website.  I would like to explore this battle at the Battalion and Regimental Command level where one stand represents a platoon, and all of the integral support assets are available such as artillery, battalion mortars, HMG and Recoiless Rifle stands, as well as helo gunships and tactical air support.
The good news is I only need my dining room table because the LZ wasn't that large!  The bad news?  I have one platoon of NVA and 1 platoon of US troopers barely ready.  Still need to paint up almost 50 more stands!!!!  Yikes!  Looks like I had better get cracking....

Over the next few days, I will publish the OOB, Map, as well as the Points List for using Cold War Commander.  Additionally, I will post updated scenario objectives since the GHQ's site's objectives do not completely translate over to the CWC's victory system.

Looking at the odds and considering most "modern" rules sets, I am guessing that in this case, victory will go to the PAVN this time.  But I have been wrong before...


  1. I am looking forward to your progress.


  2. Neat sounding game. I do not envy your job of painting 50 more stands though! My Vietnam project lost steam after about two weeks unfortunately

  3. It will be fun. Right now I've got literally 1 platoon on both sides painted with the basing at 80% (still need to flock). Can't wait to post pics most likely tomorrow. Meanwhile I'll post some stuff on the OOB and the battle. If I can knock out 1 platoon per day, this might only be a month until I'm storming the LZ!