Monday, March 9, 2015

The Vietnam Experiment: 15mm Vietnam War Rebasing.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of US Combat Troops arriving in Vietnam, I thought I would start my "Vietnam Experiment" with my 15mm Vietnam troops.

Simply put, the Vietnam Experiment is a basing project for my modern troop collection.  ("modern" being the advent of mechanized warfare and anything after - even up to today and beyond).

I see lots of people play the popular Battlegroup series of rules with individually based troops and since I like Battlegroup very much, and I also like skirmish games very much, why not make another attempt at a universal basing scheme for moderns?  (because we all know how well the last time I tried it went....what is the definition of insanity?)

Anyways, this project will have all of my modest Vietnam War forces rebased as individual troops, command teams, weapons teams, observers, etc.  I'll try a game of my modern Battlegroup homebrew ("Battlegroup: Tet" anyone?) and immediately afterwards, I'll try a game of FUBAR or some other skirmish set with the same based troops and see how it goes.

"But Steve" you say "what about games where 1 stand equals a platoon??  How will you do this?"  Easy.  My plan is to use sabots just like for that game of Panzerleader I played a couple weeks ago, although smaller sized sabots.  This should eliminate the need for "platoon stands" with 2 and 3 troops on them.  That abstraction was becoming just too much for me to bear, hence my WW2 troops all rebased on smaller "team" sized stands and if I like how this goes, I may just base everyone in modern 15mm on individual stands and be done with them.

Here are some pictures so you can see the "progress" of my troops... Here they are in their current basing scheme:

Old "platoon" bases.

A PAVN "platoon" or "squad"
It will be a shame to break up these nicely textured bases but I can fit way more troops in the bin with them based differently than this.

US Platoon or Squad or whatever.

More NVA troops

PAVN regulars!!

And here they are starting to take shape as teams and squads.  No flock yet but give me some time:
A US Squad!
 I decided to base squads around a support weapon and a leader.  So 1 US squad will consist of 2 fireteams with an M60 LMG section and Grenade launcher providing support along with a Squad Leader, while a PAVN squad will have an RPD supporting 1 team and an RPG supporting another.
Lots of firepower!

M60 team.

A PAVN mob!  Note the recoil-less rifle in the background.

US Squad.  SL in the middle.  A team on the left, B team on the right.

Figures are a mix of Peter Pig, Command Decision, and some QRF but not many.


  1. Interesting you don't use pennies for 15mm bases. They hold up well, are inexpensive and always available.

    1. Funny you should mention that, Ski. I have 400 of them standing by for when I run out of these wooden bases! They're about the same size.

      Where else could you purchase 400 bases for 4 dollars??? :)

    2. Paul,
      You can't beat that pricing! A dab of superglue and they'll stay on those things for a long time.

  2. Very interesting - I have a BIG box of 15mm 'Nam stuff including riverine forces and A flight of die cast Helos in 1/100. Never found a set of rules I really liked though (despite trying), so maybe going to 1:1 scale and using rules like Gruntz! or something could be the go.

    Heartbreaking to rip all those bases apart though - I spent quite a bit of effort on them. Still, useful figs are better than useless figs however nicely based. Conveniently, they are all in storage on the other side of the world so I don't need to make any rapid decisions!

    Here are some of my USMC infantry

    Here are some vehicles:

    1. Paul,
      I LOVE the look of those G.I.s you have - I have never heard of that line before I will have to check them out this evening. Your terrain and figures and bases look incredible!
      I originally bought the Command Decision 15mm Vietnam line to play Arty Conliffe's "Crossfire" which is a great infantry set of rules. I tried a game of CWC with its Vietnam "extra" rules and I really enjoyed it.

      Now that I'm playing Battlegroup more and the modern supplement worked pretty well, I want to use these Vietnam guys for a Battlegroup game. I think it would be fun.

      Also for skirmish games - I want to play them in a game of FUBAR, which lends itself very well for Vietnam games. (1 page rules and they're completely FREE!).

      What brand die-cast 1/100 helicopters did you use? I have the "amercom" Huey Hogs but they're closer to 1/72 than 1/100 and I refuse to purchase the battlefront hueys. Way too expensive!!!

      I also have Gruntz and can't wait to play it with my Sci Fi troopers (mostly Rebel Minis and Khurasan - speaking of Rebel minis watch this space for I'll be posting pics of my ultra-modern US forces and middle eastern insurgents soon.)


    2. The Flashpoint Miniatures are really beautiful sculpts. The great news is that they are back in production too. If you get in touch with them say Hi to Jimmi for me (great guy)

      Jimmi has some Home Grown rules in progress and having chatted to him quite a bit about them, I'm a bit excited about playing them in due course. (But Battlegroup Nam is a grand idea too!)

    3. Those guys look great! I cannot believe I hadn't heard of them sooner. I'd like to buy some - especially the Vietnam range.

      The Battlegroup rules are so versatile I think they really work in any modern setting from inter-war on through modern.

  3. Hi Steve
    Seems we avete same base or to unbase?? Shakespeare could have take inspiration from wargamer Questions ..anyway as usual great post. I take profit of this modern era post ro ask if you alredy had a look to flamesofwar site news....from October 2015...will start Cold War era...first supllement Fulda Gap...i agree with you that BF tanks are too expensive but here the plus is that will be avilable lot of infatlntry and if BF goes modern ....the others will follow ...

    1. Ciao Marco!
      This is a dilemma I am always struggling with. I like skirmish games and I also like games where a stand could be a platoon so what to do? Luckily my Vietnam range is somewhat small so even if I don't like individually based troops, I can always rebase on my squad size stands like for my WW2 troops. I think this is a worthwhile project though.

      I did hear about the BF Fulda Gap line and I am already saving my $$$$$!!

      I have my fingers crossed that PSC will start doing modern vehicles! I have heard that they may release a modern Battlegroup rules sometime in the far future.

    2. Thats a couple of interesting bits of info. Nice one.

    3. Paul, it will be better if it's true! PSC needs to start cranking out moderns for us while we wait in anticipation...

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  6. Has anyone converted specs for vietnam tanks/vehicles to work with the Battlegroup rules system?