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Campaign for South Vietnam vs PO - 8/6/2019 11:50:04 AM   
Shuffler

 

Posts: 16
Joined: 7/24/2019
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I'm playing CSV vs the PO as the Allies. I love this scenario, but am having a rough time of things. I'm at turn 18 and the EEV is at 51 and VPs is at -8. I'm destroying 5 or 6 VC units every turn - a mixture of political units, companies and regiments - but am still getting hit for 5 or 6 pacification events a turn, which I guess accounts for the negative VP count. It feels like VC units are spawning faster than I can hunt them down.

My question to those who have more experience playing this scenario is whether this level of VC activity is sustainable or whether I'm going to get the upper hand eventually? Is a destroy rate of 5 or 6 VC units a turn reasonable or do I need to try and step this up?

Thanks!
Post #: 1
RE: Campaign for South Vietnam vs PO - 8/8/2019 3:08:34 AM   
larryfulkerson

 

Posts: 38382
Joined: 4/17/2005
From: Tucson, AZ
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Shuffler
I'm playing CSV vs the PO as the Allies. I love this scenario, but am having a rough time of things. I'm at turn 18 and the EEV is at 51 and VPs is at -8. I'm destroying 5 or 6 VC units every turn - a mixture of political units, companies and regiments - but am still getting hit for 5 or 6 pacification events a turn, which I guess accounts for the negative VP count. It feels like VC units are spawning faster than I can hunt them down.

My question to those who have more experience playing this scenario is whether this level of VC activity is sustainable or whether I'm going to get the upper hand eventually? Is a destroy rate of 5 or 6 VC units a turn reasonable or do I need to try and step this up?
Thanks!
Welcome to the world of CSV. It's accurate in the political ramifications and how they effect the war effort I do believe and it encapsoluates the problems Westmoreland and his bosses wrestled with. To win the war it was obvious to Westmoreland that more soldiers were needed but LBJ didn't want to send TOO many lest the American people rise up in protest.

America had a habit of ignoring the opinions of the other nations in the world concerning the war but it's political leaders were acutely sensitive to the mindstate of the American voting public. I was there. I know. Public opinion went through a metamorphesis as time passed from the initial invasions near Da Nang, Chu Lai, and Phu Bai beginning in June of 1965. Public sentiment was close to neutral or only very slightly negative during that period. The first major ramp up in public protest occurred when American troops engaged with the NVA at I Drang and America didn't come off as the obvious victor. Lots and lots of American troops were being killed or injured and the battle was broadcast in realtime into American living rooms every evening. With each batch of news of losses, it appeared to the regular garden-variety American layman that we weren't "winning" so much as just killing people and blowing things up and no "goal" was being achieved.

There was no front line per se and the metrics of the war became BDA instead of territorial gain. A difficult switch in warfighting for the American pubilc to make. They thought we weren't "winning" and thought it pointless and perhaps a little bit "evil" that an attritional war included civilain casualties occasionally... no that's the wrong word....not occasionally but as a rule of thumb. Lots of innocents were getting killed or hurt on nationwide television. Public demonstrations were frequent. Covered of course, by the mainstream media. It was such a problem for LBJ that he hesitated before sending in any additional Army Reserve units. Those are the unit containing Americans that had day jobs, contained members that weren't all that enthusiastic about going 'active duty' and / or going overseas. Americans were joining the Reserve to get OUT of having to go to Vietnam and for LBJ to send those units in-country would affect a lot of the voting public which were, by this time in the war, not shy about engaging their representatives in heated discourse and I have a vague memory of actually some heads rolling in at least one state over just the mention of sending these units overseas. It was a hot button issue.

And it justifies the use of the EEV in it's role in determining the number of units in-country and when they HAVE to leave. I like that usage in the scenario a lot. At first it seemed "scripted" and arbitrary but the more I watched how it worked to moderate the offensive firepower of the Allies in the "right" way I became a disciple. It only seemed that way to me because I wasn't seeing how many things it achieved behind the scenes to the abstraction of the situations that the player doesn't know about and probably can't know about ( the South Vietnamese political situation, for example ). Curt Raindem was probably tearing his hair out at the roots trying to get the appropriate balance for the scenario but I think he's come really close in the latest version. I helped him playtest it and balance is a subjective call really, but I think the scenario's gameplay "feels" right to me.

Your EEV is 51 and the VP's are -8 you said. There's room for more Allied units in-country but I wouldn't approach an EEV of 70 yet. It's too early in the game ( T18 ), leave yourself some slack for strategic emergencies. The VP's is aother problem that actually relates to your EEV. If I'm remembering correctly, negative VP's will cause your EEV to increase slowly involuntarily. So that's the first thing you need to change. It's important to keep your VP's positive if it's possible at all. I can't do it reliably myself when I play the Allied side and when I play the NVA side that's the thing [ neg. VP's ] I try to impose on the Allied player. Negative VP's will eventually drive the EEV high enough to cause Allied units to leave the game early, player-chosen or otherwise. The NVA player's goal is to rid the game of American units so that the NVA can concentrate on the weaker SVN units in the takeover of Saigon, usually the end-game goal. It's either that or take over the entire country, destroy all the ARVN units, etc. Positive VP's for as long as possible are one of the goals of the Allied side. It's a trade off for the Allies to have sufficient units in action to suppress the movements of the NVA and VC units while at the same time not raising the EEV value "TOO" high. Which value you aim for with the EEV is largely a matter of experience and any insight you may have gained during previous games of this scenario. The actual number employed for a working EEV level largely depends on the on-ground situation, the number of surviving enemy units on the map, the number of enemy reinforcements arriving, time of the year [ monsoon season, etc.], whether or not you decided to bomb Hanoi, whether or not you've accellerated the Vietnamization program, and something else I can't remember right now. In other words it's contingent and there are many variables. Analysis would be better achieved by a supercomputer no doubt. Me...I aim for about 60 or less frequently 70 depending on the NVA units parked near the DMZ.

It's a new paradigm of scenario design and there's probably no end to the combinations of EEV, troop numbers of both sides, and policies ( early Vietnamization, etc. ) employed, that can be tried and most probably no two games will be the same. I could be wrong.


< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 8/8/2019 3:18:01 AM >


_____________________________

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(in reply to Shuffler)
Post #: 2
RE: Campaign for South Vietnam vs PO - 8/8/2019 2:46:15 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 816
Joined: 10/10/2005
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I am playing this scene as NVA / VC via email, and I am having a hard time understanding the nuances of this discussion. Any chance y'all can "explain like I'm five" some of the terminology? Like "EEV versus VP"?

We are on move 24, and I'm kind of lost about how to proceed with my forces, esp. how to use that Ho Chi Minh trail? I was doing pretty good w/ RR repairs on that, but this last turn my opp turned up the interdiction strikes and I lost three engineers repair units and a couple of reinforcements that I tried to rail down south along that area.

Also, how is best use of those little VC political units? Are those best used to convert hexes to VC controlled? Does that have the effect I want on the EEV? Or am I doing this completely wrong? They are obviously not suited for combat ... where do they go? I understand they are to stay in their province etc., but beyond that I'm kind of lost as to their use.

I would like to understand the VC strategy better, but I am not that bright and it is a hard scene for me to grasp. I want to be able to give my opp a good game, and I've taken several objectives in the various provinces, I have a good foothold around Da Nang I think, but I'm just kind of lost about how to proceed w/ the VC/NVA forces even after reading the documentations. Any help for me would be greatly appreciated! PS my opp has suggested I ask and look at other AARs about this, so he's ok w/ me getting advice here. Thanks!

(in reply to larryfulkerson)
Post #: 3
RE: Campaign for South Vietnam vs PO - 8/8/2019 4:42:16 PM   
larryfulkerson

 

Posts: 38382
Joined: 4/17/2005
From: Tucson, AZ
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Hellen_slith
(1)I am playing this scene as NVA/VC via email, and I am having a hard time understanding the nuances of this discussion. Any chance y'all can "explain like I'm five" some of the terminology? Like "EEV versus VP"?

(2)We are on move 24, and I'm kind of lost about how to proceed with my forces, esp. how to use that Ho Chi Minh trail? I was doing pretty good w/ RR repairs on that, but this last turn my opp turned up the interdiction strikes and I lost three engineers repair units and a couple of reinforcements that I tried to rail down south along that area.

(3)Also, how is best use of those little VC political units? Are those best used to convert hexes to VC controlled? Does that have the effect I want on the EEV? Or am I doing this completely wrong? They are obviously not suited for combat ... where do they go? I understand they are to stay in their province etc., but beyond that I'm kind of lost as to their use.

(4)I would like to understand the VC strategy better, but I am not that bright and it is a hard [...scenario...] for me to grasp. I want to be able to give my opp a good game, and I've taken several objectives in the various provinces, I have a good foothold around Da Nang I think, but I'm just kind of lost about how to proceed w/ the VC/NVA forces even after reading the documentations. Any help for me would be greatly appreciated!

(5)PS my opp has suggested I ask and look at other AARs about this, so he's ok w/ me getting advice here. Thanks!

Please allow me to take a stab at, what I readily admit, are excellent questions.

(1) "explain like I'm five" some of the terminology? Like "EEV versus VP"?
I have reason to believe EEV stood for "extra environmental variable" when it was first given to us beta testers to use to test our scenarios many years ago. It's name has evolved since then and I don't remember what it's called now by scenario designers. We who use it always just refered to it as "the EEV" and over the years it's name became superfluous and disappeared from my lexicon. But it's used by the scenario designer to monitor some condition or other as the game plays out. Curt Chambers is using it as a gauge of how close is "the final pullout" of Allied Forces. Not in so many words of course, but that's the gist of what it does IMHO. It's acting as a measure of the committment of all the units available at the time, and whether or not they committed to the fight, given that their introduction will effect events at home and abroad as well and not just the situation on the ground. Some changes cause detramental side effects that ripple in operational terms. Don't ask for the 11th Air Force units from stateside to be introduced in-country just before the monsoon season for example. You can introduce just about any available unit at just about any time but each unit adds a cost to the EEV. There's a ceiling as well as a floor for this variable. When the EEV reaches, I want to say 100, the introduction of new Allied units of whatever kind is halted and the removal of whole units begins for each Allied unit in-country. You yourself can determine which are removed first by removing them yourself manually, but they will all be removed eventually, is my understanding. Then the ARVN will stand alone and they don't have a hint of a prayer's chance to hold back the NVA/VC for very long. Usually the Allied player will forgo the entire country to gather everybody in the Saigon area and defend there to the last man, usually sometime in the early 70's, exactly when depending on how soon the USAF are removed from the equation. ARVN air support is a cruel joke. Many times, just to have something exciting to do as the NVA player it becomes a goal to actually sweep the entire map of enemy forces. Just to extend the game into the mid-70's. I believe I was fighting the Allied PO for that match.

(2) "...how to use [the] Ho Chi Minh trail...."
The trail is, for some parts of the map, the only source of supply and it's important to the NVA/VC that it remain intact and functioning keeping whatever supply it can muster moving south. It's usually a good idea to place AA units in those hexes where the trail crosses bridges [ that can be dropped from the air ]. Some kind of low value LCU wouldn't be asking too much for those hexes. Discourages Allied "invasion-penalty-be-dammed" raids on the bridge hexes. They do happen. I've done them. The main point is it's acting as an immobile supply point the entire length of it, baring breaks in it's continuity. And it's handy for moving those massive NVA divisions to specific strategic spots quickly. You can easily play "how-badly-can-I-scare-you" with your opponent using the rails. The Allied player should give some attention to the bridges to prevent the flow of supply, of course. A lot of the war is conducted over the trail in some games. When I play Allied I usually devote several squadrons to interdiction of the trail. Directed attacks when opportunity strikes, usually when an enemy unit parks on a bridge hex. He becomes the bonus for the bridgestrike. Or he would if the moving unit would actually fall into the raging river below when I drop the bridge like in real life. I have an active mind.

(3)"Also, how is best use of those little VC political units?"Um....I'm thinking they are decoys, or at least that's how I use them. They are also handy for converting hexes and then disappearing into the jungle [disband them at the end of movement]. I wouldn't try to use them in combat or to hold an objective, unless that's your point for the use of that unit, because I've found them to be worse than useless. I'm not sure what purpose they serve, the documentation is vague here. Consider them political spies for the higher ups. The higher ups want to know what's going on at the ground level but they don't want to appear in person lest the data be skewed. So they give their assistants the gist of the need of info and send them out to gather the unskewed data, the more accurate data. Unfortunately these visits are considered unscheduled inspections by the underlings and there's a constant evolving battle as to "optics" and what's really happening. But I ramble.

(4)"I would like to understand the VC strategy better...."I like what Curt Chambers [ CSV's designer ] did to me some years ago. He would disband all his VC units all at the same time or at least near to the same point in time, season-wise, during the game. During the monsoon season the Allied Air support value hits it's low point, the INT values aren't quite as frustrating for NVA/VC units during the rainy season because some units can actually move now [ usually you just move an AA unit back and forth until the strikes cease and THEN move the rest of your movers ], the defense strength of the ARVN units is degraded slightly, as I recall during the monsoon season, etc. As the game progresses the monsoon season soon becomes defined as the time for the NVA/VC to make hay. NVA/VC attacks are more valuable during the monsoon season because the Allies are severely hamstrung in movement overland and objectives you capture can sometimes be held longer than the Allied play would appreciate. Sometimes the VP level can be caused to go negative during this season making it harder for the Allied player to recover his prior potential advantage. During the rest of the year, the non-monsoon season, the idea is to swamp some area on the map with so many units that they all become difficult to track down and destroy. It's easier said than done but if executed properly, and Curt usually did execute them properly, the Allied player would run out of maneuvore units and some of my converted hexes would remain friendly to me for quite a while racking up a few more points each turn as I was able to convert them. The idea is to keep moving, keep converting hexes. He can't unconvert them all if you do it right. After having moved your units to their max consider disbanding them. It will prevent the Allied player from gaining any VP's for killing your unit and will cause the unit to respawn about 4 turns later [usually not in that hex] whereupon it can be used again etc. Staggering the disbanding in time among the different units will usually leave at least one "active" unit on the map each turn. Move it, convert some hexes, then disband the unit. Each turn. Rinse and repeat.

(5)"PS my opp has suggested I ask and look at other AARs about this...."
I found this one from long ago:
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4505528


< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 8/11/2019 2:11:59 AM >


_____________________________

there's two things that everyone needs to know: (1) 90% of the human race lives near the coast. (2) human beings can't breathe under water.

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
Post #: 4
RE: Campaign for South Vietnam vs PO - 8/8/2019 5:00:23 PM   
Hellen_slith


Posts: 816
Joined: 10/10/2005
Status: offline
Thank you, Larry! That is a very helpful explanation. I will read again now the documentation w/ your comments in mind, and try to come up with a strategy for the VC/NVA....iirc there is some sort of "bonus" for the conversion of hexes to VC control, or for how many hexes that are under VC control (thus my thought that the political units serve some sort of "conversion" purpose, and that is what I have been using them for thus far). Also, they )political units( seem to be able to be used to "distract" US forces as well.

Very interesting and fun scenario to play, one of those "endless possibilities" scenes that I enjoy so much. Thanks again for your kind help!

(in reply to larryfulkerson)
Post #: 5
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