Sunday, July 29, 2012


On Friday the Truants gathered at Game Matrix to try out Mark Waddington's Vietnam War game.  We did a Vietnam game in 15mm last summer, but not so these.  They were 25mm figures and the game was spectacularly beautiful from the miniatures to the Hueys to the amazing terrain. Mark and his son Joe have obviously worked through a lot of what they want to give the proper period feel to the game while trying to keep the rules relatively simple.  They've done a great job.  I was pretty much able to run my troops easily from the charts.  They still have some time management tweaks to work out, but nothing needs a ton more work, just some more play.

What follows are just some examples of Mark's superb hand made terrain.  The mat is made from "teddy bear fur" as are the roofs to the buildings. 

The terrain bits are mounted on mdf bases.  The plants are all aquarium plants.

The felt forms the actual outline of the jungle at left.

The pieces provide the feeling of generally difficult terrain without a lot of clear lines of sight. It also makes the terrain movable for ease of play.

On to the game.  Adrian Nelson and I ran the Americans.  Our troops, basically two reinforced platoons came on in a corner of the board.  Our objective was basically to capture an objective in the opposite corner.  Our plan was to secure a nearby hunk of jungle  and clear a fire zone with one platoon, while the second platoon was choppered into a position where they could advance on the objective. Adrian mostly ran the first platoon, while I would command the chopper-born troops. 

Actually, we agreed to shift the M-60 LMG's from the air dropped force to Adrian's platoon, while I commanded the first of three squads in his unit.  Of course, we immediately ran into hidden VC.  While they bloodied our nose on contact, we were fortunate to fairly quickly take the jungle, our first objective.  At that point we choppered in the second platoon and landed them in the middle of another VC squad.  Thankfully, they were quickly suppressed and dispersed with little loss.  Unfortunately, at that point the game ended, with the Americans flanking the nasty NVA units 
First contact with the Viet Cong. Al waits to get his NVA regulars into the action.
My troops enter the jungle in the background after an initial ambush.  Adrian's squad cover my flank and rear while engaging another VC squad in the swamp.

A look back from the VC at my American squad.  We took some losses, but eventually ejected  and dispersed the Viet Cong unit.
A second platoon overflies the jungle, where the Americans have pushed out the defending Viet Cong.
The Hueys, haven deposited their cargo in the village fly off
The only flaw in the rules is the speed of the game.  Mark loves card driven games--and honestly I do too.  In this game however, I think there are just too many cards, which really slows things down.  The rules are easy enough to pick up and learn, but the variety of cards simply defeats the simplicity of the mechanics.  I know they're working on this, and I can't wait to play again. 
The board at game's end.  North Vietnamese regulars can be seen streaming to the rear as Americans in the jungle establish their free fire zone.

Be sure to take a look at the photos, because the game is flippin' amazing.

1 comment:

DeanM said...

Impressive terrain and figures - as always with Mark's stuff. I'm sure you guys provided a good AAR so Mark can tweak the game for faster play - hopefully he'll host another round before the summer is over - and I will definitely make it next time. Best, Dean