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A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario

 
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A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/4/2011 12:16:56 AM   
Goodmongo

 

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I decided to do an AAR based on v220 of Grymme's Vietnam scenario. It is human vs human and I get to play both sides. That said I will be in character for each side. And offer commentary and background on my decisions. So here goes!

Free World Side Initial Setup:
The only reason the US lost to those commies was because we didn't get troops in there fast enough and kick some commie butt. I won't be making that mistake. I plan to send in big forces right off the bat and take it too them.

I get Ky as head of state. I will eventually need a coup as he's not great. I decide on 50 full commitment points on the very first turn. I get the following US units:

Rest of 3rd Marine Division. The division heads north into Quang Tri provence to disuade the NVA.
The 1st Marine Division is based out of Da Nang. They can help in Quang Tri or do sweeps through the mountains.
1st Air Calvary division is brought into Saigon but heads into the delta. Nice mobility will trap and kill those VC.
101st Aiborne is another airmobile division. They come in at Yung Tao and take up defensive positions along the coast in III Corps.
173rd Airborns brigade is also airmobile and lands at Quin Hun. They will help the ARVN units in the center.

I also buy 2 economic aid packages and 4 replacements.

I buy 5 155mm artillery units placing one in Saigon, 1 in Da Nang and the rest in Hue. I then purchase 5 air units to reach 50 commitment.

What is with those B-52's? I mean aren't they INTERCONTINENTAL bombers? Then why CAN'T they even reach Tochepone or Saravangh from air bases near Saigon and Nha Trang. What is 500 stinking miles out of reach? I mean come on already. So I move them to Da Nang area and keep the A-4's south.

As for ARVN units I buy the Para division and send it to IV Corps. They are great for killing VC since they are airmobile. I buy the Marine division and place it near Saigon. In fact I leave TWO full regiments in Saigon to defend it.

I then buy one regiment short of 9 more divisions. I make sure each air base has 3 battalions and most capital cites also have 3 battalions. I do have single battalions on a few capital cites but with the Rf forces this should be just fine.

I thinik I'm ready to take the war to those eveil commies and look forwad to my first kills. I end my turn.

< Message edited by Goodmongo -- 10/4/2011 12:50:01 AM >
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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/4/2011 12:22:09 AM   
Goodmongo

 

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NVN Turn One

Those stinking imperalist pigs don't know who they are messing with. I have an army of supermen. They decided to go big but it just doesn't matter.

Now the key to victory is capturing Saigon before June 1975. Heck why wait so long? Afte all Jane Fonda is waiting for me in the other room.

I decide to use just 18 of my all powerful VC battalions. I place them near Saigon and surround it with 3 battalions from all bordering hexes. The attack is limited to 16 units max at one time.

I attack and at the end of round 7 all units in Saigon are defeated. I beat 2 marine regiments, 1 155 art battalion, MACV HQ, GHQ HQ, Marine division HQ and the 1st Air Calvary HQ.

I move in one of the battalions into the city and hit end turn.

Take that you imperalist pig. Now to see Jane.

< Message edited by Goodmongo -- 10/4/2011 12:51:26 AM >

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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/4/2011 12:24:09 AM   
Goodmongo

 

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US Player:

Wait that is unfair! I mean it was ARVN units defending after all. They suck and I should have used US units. I want a rematch.

Let me place a full US regiment in there. I want one of the air calvary regiments to defend Saigon. That should do the trick.

OK, now I'm ready and it's your turn.

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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/4/2011 12:25:18 AM   
Goodmongo

 

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NVN Player:

You think that will do the trick? You have no clue to the power of my VC battalions.

I use the same 18 battalions and once agin after 7 rounds Saigon is all mine.

Now back to Jane.

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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/4/2011 12:26:20 AM   
Goodmongo

 

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US Player:

WTF!!!!!!

Ok so maybe I have to go all crazy and garrison Saigon with a FULL US division. That will sovle the problem.

Ready, now take your best shot.

< Message edited by Goodmongo -- 10/4/2011 12:52:36 AM >

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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/4/2011 12:29:56 AM   
Goodmongo

 

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NVN Player:

Oh you still doubt my all powerful superman VC units?

At least it is 16 attacking VC battalions vs 16 defending battalions. Of course some of the defenders are artillery but hey you can't leave them out alone in the wild if your infantry is all in Saigon.

Oh this is interesting. You pigs actually held out for 11 rounds. But in the end Jane and I are touring Saigon.

Maybe if you placed every unit in and around Saigon you might hold out for one turn more, but I doubt it. After all I still have 27 more VC battalions that I can use. Not to mention probably 25 more commitment which using sea supply can tranlaste into 100-115 MORE VC battalions on the very next seasonal turn.

I wonder how long it will take to conquer Washington DC?

< Message edited by Goodmongo -- 10/4/2011 12:56:18 AM >

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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/4/2011 1:02:47 AM   
Goodmongo

 

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For full disclousure I want to mention that over in the mods section I've been testing the mod. Let me state that I think the mod is GREAT and has tremendous potential. However, Grymme and I are in disagreement over balance issues. I did this to make my point very clear that the VC units are too strong. this isn't really due to things Grymme has done but instead has more to due with how ATG handles combat.

With a few changes and a few tweaks to stats this can be one of the very best mods ever created for an ATG game. That is my goal. It is not to discourage people from getting it. In fact I think if these changes are made it will be a MUST have. Grymme has done tons of great work. It just needs a little more to really finish it.

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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/4/2011 8:47:26 AM   
Grymme

 

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Try to defend the greater Saigon Gia Dinh area like this instead. Putting all your troops in a hole in the middle like lieutenant colonel Custer will not work. The +250 % concentric bonus from surrounding it at all sides and the overcrowding penalties will kill you.

This is 25th infantry division together with a 22nd ARVN division.







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< Message edited by Grymme -- 10/4/2011 11:00:50 AM >


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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/4/2011 8:52:17 AM   
Grymme

 

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This is the result of the VC using all its supply to try and take Saigon. Now i did use the No Ambushes scenario variant. Maybe Saigon could be taken without this variant. I am not sure. I did make a couple of mistakes with the VC probably, but with the defense also.






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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/4/2011 9:29:50 AM   
Grymme

 

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I did try once without the No Ambush option also

This time obviously the VC did much better and got close enough to the city to make a +100% assault.

here is the position at the assault.




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< Message edited by Grymme -- 10/4/2011 9:52:31 AM >


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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/4/2011 9:34:23 AM   
Grymme

 

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And here is the result of the final assault

The city itself was garrisoned by 1 amored squadron, 2 infantry battalions and various HQs and artillery units.

As you can see the city held. But it was very close. Maybe a better player could have taken the city. But i really tried, and almost thought it would work. So maybe the attacking Saigion on round one is a viable strategy. But it certainly isnt a walk in the park. At best a 50% proposal. Unless you are playing someone who is defending the city like you did.




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< Message edited by Grymme -- 10/4/2011 9:51:38 AM >


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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/4/2011 2:30:04 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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That is such an ahistrical setup and just so wrong to have to even do.  It shows that there is a fundamental problem with it at the present time.

I defended teh city beacuase my troops are need to defend all the capital cities and airfields.  I can't afford to place a whole division or more around there.  One full regiment in real life and in the boardgame was way more than enough to defend the city.

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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/4/2011 2:45:18 PM   
Grymme

 

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It is not an ahistorical setup. In point of fact during most of the war there were large US units stationed around Saigon. During the Tet-offensive there were 14 US and ARVN battalionsized units stationed in the immediate Saigon area (a much smaller area than my defense grid on the map). And they were nestled around the city in much the same way that my defense was. The 25th infantry divison was one of the divisions that were frequently based very close to Saigon. Another unit was the 199th Brigade.

Shelby Stanton, Vietnam Order of Battle p. 385 

< Message edited by Grymme -- 10/4/2011 2:47:09 PM >


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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/4/2011 3:12:43 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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And then tell me what happens on turn 2 when I as the NVN player get over 100 VC battalions?  That last attack was with just 45 and almost got Saigon.  My next attack will have twice as many troops. 

On turn 3 (seasonal turns) I get around 20 more commitment which means about 90 MORE VC battalions.  That means in just three seasonal turns I can create and place close to 270 VC battalions.  That is THIRTY divisions worth.

EDIT:
You are missing my point. See how you were forced to defend the city? You have to place individual battalion in a circle around the city. This is due to ATG's attack bonus. But you can't do that everywhere.

As the VC I will examine the map and find exactly where I can get the 250% bonus. Any human player will. So you defended Saigon with 2 divisions. That means many other places are short of troops. Did you do this at Hue and Da Nang? If not you will lose those two cities, not to mention 3 or 4 other capital cities.

Why is it so hard for you to admit that there is an issue here?

< Message edited by Goodmongo -- 10/4/2011 3:48:39 PM >

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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/5/2011 7:25:43 PM   
GrumpyMel

 

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Does the VC player get to choose exactly where thier units appear? (i.e. any hex?).  If so that IS a pretty powerfull advantage when you factor in AT's concentric bonus.

Maybe treating them like partisans in most other scenerios are handled might be a better way to go...i.e. they show up at a random location in a geographicaly defined area. That way you could avoid insta-encircle attacks...and only be able to encircle if you actualy were able to out manuver the enemy over the course of a couple turns....or just got really lucky with the random number generator as to where the units show up.

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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/5/2011 8:56:07 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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Yes, and they can hold back supply to create a super-duper force on any turn that they choose to.

Now the actual board game had some mechanisms to deal with this.  Firsst off the VC in the board games were nowhere near as strong as these are.  Second is the unit counter limitation.  You could have a max of 70 VC battalions in the game.  They also had regiments.  The last thing was you were limited in how many units you could place based on population control.  This was a partial limitiation tho.  If you saved the supply till the next seasonal turn you then were not limited.

Finally, even if you did surround a unit the defender had the option to take losses as replacement and therefore did not have to retreat.  In fact retreat was an OPTION of the defending side and was never mandatory.

There are some ideas that I have had.  One good idea is you still pick the province but the actual placement is a random hex in that province.  And of course I would greatly dimish the offensive capability of VC units.  They were ambush pros, they fought a quick round and then disappeared.  They forced the US to come to them only to move away.  Or they seemed to be a small unit and when the enemy showed up they all of a sudden were regimental strength.  The board game does these things very well.

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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/13/2011 4:59:33 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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It seems that the latest version (v223) is way different.  You will no longer be able to conquer Saigon on turn one or even by turn 4.  Not sure what the changes are (battlestack maybe), but they are nice to see and remove the gimmick of the NVN player winning the war by just attacking Saigon with VC units.  There also appear to be changes to unit balances and simply just surrounding a unit doesn't guarantee the destruction of the unit.

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RE: A Walk in the Park Vietnam Scenario - 10/14/2011 6:10:59 PM   
Goodmongo

 

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First off all of this is my personal OPINION.  Just as the previous comments were my personal OPINION.  They are based on my tests and I try to give enough information for other players to duplicate what I did.

I want to confirm that version 223 does NOT allow you to use this AAR trick as the VC.  Last night I conducted a test where the US player basically follows sound strategy.  Near Saigon he makes a ring of defenses and in other places tries to keep units in brigade or regimental strength.  This is sound because the NVN player built nothing for his turn one.  Then on turn 4 (seasonal turn 2) the NVN player uses all commitment to make NLF supply and build TONS of VC units.

In the first test I place lots of VC battalions near Saigon and started to attack the outer rings.  Losses were heavy on the VC side but the US troops (usually 2 battalions but sometimes just one) retreated.  I thought that the VC would eventually win as I could make around 120+ battalions.  But something started to happen.  I placed more VC units and kept attacking the new hexes.  However, it seems that if any US units retreated INTO those hexes the VC attack would stall out.

I have not had ATG long enough to know if this is due just to the battlestack rules or not.  But what happened is the attack would stall out.  I would place more VC units and attack that same hex once again.  Eventually, the attack would stall out on the first round as all the attackers would retreat.  This same functionality also happened if an initial attack failed and you tried to attack a second or third time.  The bottom line is that I could never create a large enough gap to attack Saigon.  The best I could do is get a two hex attack.  Maybe there might be some way to do it but it is no longer a guarantee and easy victory.  And two hexes with the stacking rules in place now seems to limit the combat power of the attacking units.  In the past I could place 8 units in two hexes and attack 3 US battalions and win everytime.  Doing that now does not result in an automatic win.  In fact I lost more often then I won.

Then I thought OK the US player thinks I'm going for Saigon but instead I'll attack everywhere else.  I occupied all six hexes surrounding many different formations.  Most of the defenders were in regimental/brigade size.  In the past I could use 6-9 VC battalions attacking from all surrounding hexes and wipe out the defenders.  That also no longer works.  If the defender was some ARVN units of 1 or 2 battalions the VC player defeated them and captured the hex.  That is all good as it should be that way.  But when 9 VC battalions attacked 3 US battalions the VC retreated with about 50% losses.  The US side did suffer some kills but they held their ground.  I did NOT change any of the default retreat parameters.  Now maybe 16 VC units in the 6 surrounding hexes does win.  I did not test for that because that wasn't the real issue as it was more than 5-1 odds.  My previous problem was with 1-1 or 2-1 odds against non-US and 3-1 against US units because a US unit was supposed to be 2 or 3 times as strong so the effectivve odds were really 1-1 or lower.

I am not sure what changes were made, but the changes that were made solved a real issue.  I have not played a full campaign with version 223 so can't comment on how it plays out.  What I can comment on that this version is so much better and has resolved what I felt was a major issue.  It took a BIG BIG step in getting it right, and maybe it does have it 100% right.  Time and testing will tell that story. 

I officially take back my earlier complaint about the VC balance issue.  Version 223 for whatever was done allows you to play the game without fear of a gimmick strategy on the NVN side.

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