From: Tucson, AZ
(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:
< Message edited by larryfulkerson -- 8/11/2019 2:11:59 AM >
If we ever do get to go to other galaxy's and visit other worlds let's just make patterns in their crops and leave.