Vietnam Combat Operations 2 - Aces8 vs AI (Full Version)

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comte -> Vietnam Combat Operations 2 - Aces8 vs AI (10/19/2010 8:56:59 AM)

Ok Here goes Volume 2 of Boonierats (Stéphane Moutin-Luyat) excellent Combat operations Vietnam series. I made this little graphic to explain some of the ground and helicopter/air movements for anybody who haven't seen the explanations as they came about in Volume 1. There will be unique colors for the other free world forces as well, I only assembled ARVN, US, Australia and Airforce for this graphic. Please note airstrikes from US Navy, Airforce, and Marines will use that turquoise dashed line with red blast graphic to represent an airstrike. Also in Volume 1 I would sometimes show the whole route of a helilifted unit I may just use a small dash arrow to represent the heli landing in some maps. Sea landings will just have a small arrow in the water that points to the unit landing. The Map Scale is 4km per hexagon. And the turn length is half a week. Viet Cong and People's Army of Vietnam (North Vietnam) will be represented by the color Red on maps. Ok guys lets have some fun here its gonna be a long war [:)]


comte -> Volume 2 Historical Background (10/19/2010 9:09:14 AM)

Historical Background

New elements in the war's equation modified its shape in
the summer of 1965. Concerned by the continuing inability
of the South Vietnamese to handle the Communist
threat, a threat punctuated by Viet Cong successes in
May and June, the Johnson administration committed two
Army divisions and promised more as needed. With that
commitment, and a matching enemy escalation, the conflict
broadened out, forcing General Westmoreland to
search for a new approach to operations that he hoped
would bring the allies eventual victory.
In May the Viet Cong launched offensives in two areas of
South Vietnam, breaking a two-months lull in operations.
In III Corps the Viet Cong opened their Dong Xoai campaign,
seeking "to annihilate a large portion of the puppet
main-force [South Vietnamese] Army, intensify guerrilla
warfare, assist the masses in destroying strategic
hamlets, expand the liberated areas and connect the
eastern Nam Bo [III Corps] bases with the southern part
of the Central Highlands." The offensive began on the
eleventh north of Saigon, with an attack on the capital of
Phuoc Long Province, Song Be, by up to four Viet Cong
battalions. Overrunning most of the town, the attackers
held their ground until the next day. When the South
Vietnamese dispatched two relief forces, both were
ambushed. On the twenty-ninth the offensive expanded
into southern I Corps. A Viet Cong force, probably in
regimental strength, attacked a South Vietnamese Army
company on a road-clearing operation near the hamlet of
Ba Gia, west of Quang Ngai City. The battalion commander
committed his other two companies, but the Viet
Cong ambushed both as they neared the battle site. The
following day three more battalions entered the fray, and
all took a beating. At the end of the fighting it was clear
that the South Vietnamese had suffered a major defeat,
losing 107 killed, 123 wounded and 367 missing, as well
as 384 individual weapons. The enemy had used a favorite
tactic: attacking and pinning down a South Vietnamese
element, and then ambushing the inevitable
relief force.
American officials feared the worst. The South Vietnamese
seemed whipped. As General Larsen recalled,
"We had to do something and very fast." An analysis prepared
on 5 June by the U.S. Embassy's Mission Intelligence
Committee and transmitted to Washington in
Ambassador Taylor's name, with General Westmoreland's
concurrence, reached a similar conclusion. The growing
American military commitment had persuaded the enemy
to commit more troops of his own. Although suffering
heavy losses, the Communists remained capable of continuing
their attacks, and soon U.S. Combat troops would
have to move out of their enclaves and go into battle.
Two days later, on 7 June, General Westmoreland
informed Admiral Sharp and the chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, General Earle G. Wheeler, that the Viet
Cong main forces and the increasing number of North
Vietnamese units in the South could mount regimental-size
operations in all of the corps tactical zones and battalion-
size ones in all of the provinces. Furthermore, he
believed that in the near future the enemy would initiate
attacks in several strategic areas. The South Vietnamese
Army, with it's high desertion rates and higher than
expected losses in recent battles, might not be able to
hold. Therefore, the United States had very few options if
it wanted to reverse the trend. "I see no course of action
open," wrote Westmoreland, "except to reinforce our
effort in SVN [South Vietnam] with additional U.S. or
third country forces as rapidly as practicable during the
critical weeks ahead." As his only recourse, he requested
the commitment of additional maneuver elements.
Counting these units plus the brigades already in country
or on the way, the number of U.S. or third-country (Australian
and South Korean) battalions would total fortyfour,
and the U.S. expeditionary forces would increase to
some 175,000 officers and enlisted men by the end of
1965. The maneuver elements would establish "a substantial
and hard hitting offensive capability on the
ground to convince the V.C. that they cannot win." Planning
also had to begin for the deployment of even
greater forces, if and when required, to defeat the Communists.
Another major South Vietnamese setback soon punctuated
the need for American troops. Shortly after General
Westmoreland made his request, the South Vietnamese
at Dong Xoai suffered their worst defeat since 1964.
When the fighting ended on 12 June, they had lost 416
killed, 174 wounded and 233 missing. For a time, the
173d Airborne Brigade was poised to intervene, but the
enemy's withdrawal eliminated the need. MACV termed
the engagement "a tactical and psychological victory for
the VC."
Given the almost certain likelihood that incidents like
Dong Xoai would recur, Westmoreland sought confirmation
of his authority to commit his troops for offensive
operations. On 13 June Admiral Sharp informed him that
he could use his troops in support of South Vietnamese
forces facing aggressive attack when other reserves were
unavailable and when the military situation warranted it.
Less than two weeks later, in an even clearer message
approved by the Department of Defense, Secretary of
State Dean Rusk added unequivocally that Westmoreland
could commit U.S. Troops to combat "independently or in
conjunction with GVN [Government of Vietnam] forces in
any situation in which the use of such troops is requested
by an appropriate GVN commander and when, in COMUSMACV's
judgment, their use is necessary to strengthen
the relative position of GVN forces." The formula gave
Westmoreland as free a hand in managing his troops as
he was ever likely to receive.
Meanwhile, on 11 June the Chiefs of Staff had seconded
Westmoreland's reinforcement request by calling for
additional troops, particularly the men of the 1st Cavalry
Division. President Johnson, however, temporized. On the
nineteenth he approved preparatory steps necessary for
major deployments, but he held back on sending the
troops themselves. Frustrated, General Wheeler on the
twenty-fifth asserted that "we need more troops [in Vietnam]....
Everything else aside, this is the heart of the
problem." As the president deliberated, discussion among
the administration began to shift from what was necessary
to prevent a South Vietnamese collapse to what
would be required to win the struggle. Four days later, at
Johnson's request, Secretary of Defense McNamara
asked Westmoreland to specify the forces that would be
necessary beyond the forty-four battalions to convince
the enemy he could not prevail. In response, the General
recommended twenty-four more battalions plus the support
and air units necessary to sustain them, an additional
100,000 men. Under the plan he developed, the
forty-four battalions would arrive as soon as possible to
contain the Communist offensive and to prevent a South
Vietnamese collapse. The second wave of troops would
reach Vietnam in 1966 to consolidate earlier gains by
attacking the enemy's main forces in their strongholds
and by assisting with the pacification of politically important
Throughout the month of July senior officials in the Johnson's
administration pondered the additional deployments.
The Saigon-Honolulu-Washington cable traffic
hummed during these weeks, and McNamara made yet
another trip to Saigon for consultation with Westmoreland
and Taylor. After McNamara returned, President
Johnson and his most senior security advisers met several
times to arrive at a decision on Vietnam. On the
twenty-seventh Johnson approved Westmoreland's original
request of forty-four battalions, but with two significant
reservations: He declined to declare a national
emergency, and he postponed any decision on calling up
reservists for service in Southeast Asia.
President Johnson announced the decision the next day,
28 July, at a news conference. After highlighting the
importance of convincing "the Communists that we cannot
be defeated by force of arms" and also his request
that Westmoreland specify what more was needed to
curb the North, he added that he intended to meet the
general's requirements. By ordering the 1st Cavalry Division
and other units to Vietnam, he continued, American
fighting strength in the theater would rise from 75,000 to
125,000 men, but additional forces would be necessary
later and would be sent as requested. Realizing the significance
of the president's statement, a reporter asked if
the existing policy of relying on the South Vietnamese to
carry out offensive operations while American forces protected
American installations and were available only as
an emergency backup had changed. Johnson responded
that the decision "does not imply any change of objective."
But it did, and dramatically so. In the words of one
historian, the president's decree became "the closest
thing to a formal declaration for war in Vietnam."

(Taken from Combat Operations: Stemming the Tide,
May 1965 to October 1966 by John M. Carland, Center
for Military History, Washington, D.C., 2000)


comte -> Turn 1 - News Summary (10/19/2010 9:28:05 AM)

Turn 1 - August 1st to August 4th 1965

Turn 1 of volume 2 opens with two operations still ongoing Operation OPORD 11/65 a search and destroy operation by elements of the US 173rd Airborne Brigade near Phu My and Operation 5/65 by the 1st Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment patrolling northeast of Bien Hoa Airbase. There are two missions this turn one is a US Marine search and destroy operation the other is the beginning of a Major ARVN Operation to lift the siege of Duc Co CIDG (Civilian Irregular Defense Group) Camp southwest of Pleiku in the Central Highlands. US Navy Market Time Operations have begun off the coast, their goal will be to interdict the Viet Cong's supply lines over water, the naval designation for Market Time units is Task Force 115. Here's the news summary for turn 1.


comte -> Turn 1 - Task Force ALPHA set up (10/19/2010 10:19:00 AM)

Task Force Alpha (Provisional)

On August first Task Force Alpha is set up at Nha Trang as the first US army field force headquarters in South Vietnam. Increased roles of US combat units in field operations spurred the creation of the provisional field force headquarters in the II Corps tactical Zone. The field force concept was adopted instead of a normal corps headquarters for three basic reasons: First, since the headquarters was to operate within an existing South Vietnamese corps zone, it would be confusing to introduce another corps designation within the same zone; second unlike a corps headquarters, which only has tactical functions, the field force was to have additional responsibilities, such as supply, pacification, and an advisory role to the South Vietnamese; third, the field force organization was more flexible, making it possible to add additional subordinate units if required, even including one or more subordinate corps headquarters.


comte -> Turn 1 - Operation Blast Out I (10/19/2010 10:55:58 AM)

Operation Blast Out I - Search and Destroy

On the 2-3 of August the 1st Battalion 3rd Marines (1/3) and the 1st Battalion 9th Marines (1/9) will conduct a search and destroy operation around Cam Ne in Quang Nam province. As the 1st Battalion 9th Marines is helilifted into the vicinity of Cam Ne they send a patrol toward the village and take sniper fire from Viet Cong operating there. The 1st Battalion 3rd Marines sets up blocking positions outside of the village as 1/9 attacks the Viet Cong operating there causing massive casualties as several airstrikes and artillery rounds from fire support bases (FSB) near Da Nang drop some rounds on the village. The Marines uncover booby traps in the village. 300 punji stick traps (sharpened bamboo sticks covered with human feces and embedded in camouflaged shallow holes designed to impale a foot) are found as well as three grenade booby traps, six antipersonal mines and one multiple booby trapped hedge row. Sporadic sniper rifle harasses the marines as they clear the village. Frustrated the marines burn 51 huts as Morley Safer and a CBS news crew are filming.


comte -> Turn 1 - Operation Dan Thang 5 (10/19/2010 11:14:46 AM)

Operation Dan Thang 5 Preliminaries

Starting August 3rd ARVN II Corps forces are ordered to mount Operation Dan Thang 5, an effort to relieve the Duc Co CIDG Camp which has been under siege since late May. 2 ARVN Airborne Units gathered at Pleiku will be helilifted to an LZ (Landing Zone) located outside the camp and attack east to link up with the ground relief column made up of ARVN Armor and Vietnamese Marine Corps (VNMC) Task Force B as well as some artillery. An estimated Regimental sized North Vietnamese army unit is between the camp and Pleiku. US Airstrikes are called in on the area. This is the preliminary part of the operation on this turn as the ARVN troops are being moved into position to attack. This concludes Turn 1.


cantona2 -> RE: Turn 1 - Operation Dan Thang 5 (10/19/2010 11:40:49 AM)

Jumping on this one for the ride

jomni -> RE: Turn 1 - Operation Dan Thang 5 (10/20/2010 4:17:27 AM)

Aces, what screenshot annotation software do you use?

comte -> RE: Turn 1 - Operation Dan Thang 5 (10/20/2010 6:20:57 AM)



Aces, what screenshot annotation software do you use?

I use Photoscape for my screenshots the price is nice free [;)]

comte -> Turn 2 - News Summary (10/23/2010 6:21:43 AM)

Turn 2 - August 4th to August 8th 1965

Operation Dan Thang 5 continues this turn with some significant progress towards opening the road between Pleiku and Duc Co CIDG camp. There are several missions this turn one involves the 1st Bn of the Royal Australian Regiment and the other two involve the Marines with ARVN support. Here's the news summary for Turn 2.


comte -> Turn 2 - Operation Marble Mountain (10/23/2010 6:26:10 AM)

Operation Marble Mountain - Search and Destroy

On the 4th and 5th of August the 3rd Marines conduct a search and destroy mission called Operation Marble Mountain southeast of Da Nang. There is negative contact with the VC during the mission.


comte -> Turn 2 - Operation Thunderbolt (10/23/2010 6:34:46 AM)

Operation Thunderbolt - Search and Destroy

Between August 6th and 7th the 2nd Battalion of the 4th Marines from Chu Lai will join the 4th ARVN Regiment headquartered in Quang Ngai City in a mission called Operation Thunderbolt. Operation Thunderbolt aims to clear road HL-529 from Chu Lai to Tra Bong. During the mission there is negative contact with the enemy but the roads are repaired and cleared to Tra Bong.


comte -> Turn 2 - Operation 6/65 (10/23/2010 6:45:46 AM)

Operation 6/65 - Search and Destroy

Between the 7th and 11th of August the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the 1st Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment will conduct Operation 6/65 a three day Search and Destroy Operation 13 kilometers north of Bien Hoa. The US Army 3rd Battalion of the 319th Artillery will set up a fire support base at Tan Uyen to support the 1 RAR Battalion and the 173rd Airborne Brigades Company D 16th Armor. There is negative contact with the VC in the Operation in the first days of the operation.


comte -> Turn 2 - Operation Dan Thang 5 Phase 2 (10/23/2010 6:52:21 AM)

Operation Dan Thang 5 - Phase 2

The Relief column coming from Pleiku to open the road to Duc Co camp have encountered a PAVN (Peoples Army of Vietnam) Battalion blocking the road to Duc Co. The Relief Column will fight the North Vietnamese army unit with the aid of the 3rd and 6th ARVN Airborne Battalions who are helilifted to LZ's (Landing Zones) west of the enemy position. Airstrikes are called in on the PAVN Bn as the ARVN prepare for battle.


comte -> Turn 2 - Battle east of Duc Co (10/23/2010 6:58:14 AM)

Battle to Clear the Road to Duc Co - Operation Dan Thang 5

The Battle to clear the road from Pleiku to Duc Co is successful as the ARVN relief column with US Airstrikes manage to push the PAVN Battalion off the road with devastating losses for the enemy. The Relief column will have to try and attack the rest of the Regiment before they disappear back over the border into Cambodia and the safety of their base areas. Here are the results of the combat and this will conclude turn 2.


Boonierat -> RE: Turn 2 - Battle east of Duc Co (10/23/2010 9:14:09 AM)

Ace, a little tip: make sure to move units of the 173 Abn Bde to friendly airfields on turn 3, you will need to airlfit them to Pleiku on turn 4 [:)] Good work at Duc Co, not always easy to clear the roadblock.

comte -> RE: Turn 2 - Battle east of Duc Co (10/23/2010 9:22:24 PM)


ORIGINAL: Boonierat

Ace, a little tip: make sure to move units of the 173 Abn Bde to friendly airfields on turn 3, you will need to airlfit them to Pleiku on turn 4 [:)] Good work at Duc Co, not always easy to clear the roadblock.

Cool thanks for the advice [:)]

comte -> Turn 3 - News Summary (10/28/2010 8:43:38 AM)

Turn 3 - August 8th to August 11th 1965

Turn 3 opens with the road to Duc Co open for now but substantial enemy units are still in the area. There is one mission this turn that involves the opening of a new CIDG camp. On August 9th of this turn US Marines will begin to form CAPs(Combined Action Platoons made of one Marines squad and one Corpsman) to pacify the villages of the Vietnamese countryside within their TAOR (Tactical Area of Responsibility) the program will eventually cover villages from Quang Ngai Province to the DMZ. Here's the news summary for this turn.


comte -> Turn 3 - Dak To CIDG Camp (10/28/2010 8:48:37 AM)

Dak To CIDG Camp

On 8th of August 1965 Detachment A-244 is to secure and build a new CIDG Camp at Dak To. The Dak To camp is very close to where the borders of Laos and Cambodia meet.


comte -> Turn 3 - AC-47 Spooky's arrive (10/28/2010 9:05:50 AM)

Douglas AC-47 Spooky Gunships arrive

On the 8th of August the 5th ACS Squadron of Spooky Gunships have arrived at Nha Trang. These Douglas AC-47 Gunships are specially modified cargo planes mounted with three 7.62mm General Electric miniguns . The planes can also drop flares to help night battles. The AC-47's primary function was close air support for ground troops. It could orbit the target for hours providing suppressing fire. Coverage given by a Spooky was over an elliptical area approximately 52 yd (47.5 m) in diameter, placing a round every 2.4 yd (2.2 m) during a 3-second burst. These will be a great help in future battles. This concludes Turn 3.


comte -> Turn 4 - News Summary (11/2/2010 8:34:21 AM)

Turn 4 - August 11th to August 15th 1965

ARVN Operation Dan Thang 5 which started on August 3rd will be continuing this turn with further clashes with NVA troops around Duc Co Camp. There are 5 new Missions this turn some are long term as the US Army and Marines expand their Area's of Responsibility in their search for the Viet Cong and NVA. Several US planes are lost to SAM missiles over North Vietnam over the course of these 5 days. The US plans to counter the North Vietnamese SAM's with a series of missions code named "Iron Hand". Here's the News Summary for Turn 4.


comte -> Turn 4 - 173rd Airborne moved to Pleiku (11/2/2010 8:43:59 AM)

173rd Airborne Moved to Pleiku, Operation Dan Thang 5 continues

On the 11th of August the bulk of the 173rd Airborne Brigade (HQ, 1/503 Airborne Bn, 2/503 Airborne Bn, 3/319 Artillery) and the 2/18 Infantry battalion of the 1st Infantry Division are ordered to be airlifted to Pleiku from Bien Hoa Airbase to support the relief operation of Duc Co CIDG camp by securing Highway 19 especially the Thanh Binh Pass area. After the arrival of the 173rd in Pleiku the 1/503 Abn secures highway 19 and the Thanh Binh pass with zero contact with the enemy. Also Operation Dan Thang 5 continues further west of Thanh Binh Pass as the ARVN Relief column fights another PAVN Battalion blocking the roads to Duc Co CIDG Camp.


comte -> Turn 4 - Dan Thang 5 Battle with PAVN (11/2/2010 8:48:56 AM)

Operation Dan Thang 5 Battle with PAVN Bn east of Duc Co Camp

As Operation Dan Thang 5 continues the ARVN Relief column managed to inflict tremendous casualties on another PAVN Battalion near Duc Co Camp with the aid of US Navy and Airforce jets which pounded the enemy positions.


comte -> Turn 4 - Operation Barracuda (11/2/2010 8:53:41 AM)

Operation Barracuda - Search and Destroy

From the 11th of August to the 8th of September the 1/18th Infantry at Cam Ranh Bay will conduct a month long search and destroy operation named Barracuda in Khan Hoa Province 10 kilometers west of Dien Kanh. The 1/18th will be joined by Battery B of the 1/7th Artillery who will be setting up a fire support base at Dien Kanh. In the initial stage of the Operation there is negative contact with the enemy.


comte -> Turn 4 - Operation Midnight (11/2/2010 8:56:54 AM)

Operation Midnight - Search and Destroy

On the 12 of August the 2/3 Marines will launch a search and destroy operation named Midnight in the Song Cu De river valley also known as Elephant Valley. The Marines encounter no enemy troops in the operation.


comte -> Turn 4 - Operation 7/65 (11/2/2010 9:02:16 AM)

Operation 7/65

Beginning on the 12th of August the 1st Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment will begin Operation 7/65 a month long patrolling operation to provide defense for the Bien Hoa airbase during the absence of the 173rd Airborne Brigade which is operating in the Pleiku area. Operation 7/65 will begin 6 kilometers north of Ho Nai. In the initial phase of the operation there is negative contact with VC units.


comte -> Turn 4 - ARVN 21st Division in Base Area 483 (11/2/2010 9:12:31 AM)

ARVN 21st Division Search and Destroy operation in VC Base Area

On the 13th of August the 21st ARVN Division in the Delta is alerted to conduct a search and destroy operation in the Viet Cong Base Area 483 between Vi Thanh and Kien Hung. The ARVN 2nd,3rd, and 4th Battalions of the 31st Regiment 21st Division will conduct the Operation. A ARVN fire Support base is set up at Kien Hung to support the Operation. The ARVN Infantry are helilifted into the base area and come into contact with what is believed to be a Viet Cong Battalion sized force operating in the base area. The ARVN Infantry call in airstrikes from US Navy Carriers operating in Dixie station/WESTPAC and prepare for battle.


comte -> Turn 4 - Battle in VC Base Area 483 (11/2/2010 9:15:56 AM)

21st ARVN Battle in VC Base Area 483

The ARVN 2nd Battalion 31st Infantry Regiment sets up a blocking Position west of the VC as the 3rd Battalion and 4th Battalion 31st Infantry attack the Viet Cong Position with Navy Carrier Jets bombarding the VC position in Base area 483 causing massive casualties to the enemy. This concludes Turn 4.


berto -> RE: Turn 4 - Battle in VC Base Area 483 (11/2/2010 7:53:38 PM)

How much of your VCO game play is reacting to scripted events (following "orders"), and how much is pursuing broader, unspecified, self-selected objectives in other far-flung places across the map?

Do you feel constricted? Are you sometimes tempted to disobey "orders", to ignore history, to go off and do your own thing? What would be the consequences of that?

As a learning tool, as an "interactive history book," VCO has great appeal.

But a free-wheeling, "what-if" game/simulation--to what extent does VCO play like that?

I'm not advocating one or the other. (In fact, I tend to like constricted, history-based game play.) Just curious.

BigDuke66 -> RE: Turn 4 - Battle in VC Base Area 483 (11/2/2010 11:12:13 PM)

I played a bunch of those scenarios too and indeed as "interactive history book" it is great and I usually read this thread:
in conjunction with playing a VCO scenario.

Is you want a more "free" play other scenarios(Boonie Rats 1985 - 1972) would fit better especially as VCO scenarios are not very long and the next one usually starts off where the former ended but when playing free the end isn't nowhere near the start of the next.

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