AAR - A Friend in Need x2

Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Messages
67
Points
8
Location
USA
Played A Friend in Need.

I split the US Army units into three groups of two squads with the 2 M-60s, medic, and leader spread out among them. Two thirds of them would approach through the heavy jungle in the middle of the board. The other group made a cautious parallel approach to the north through the Kunai grass.

With three groups I was able to advance them more carefully by leaving one or two groups behind to lay opportunity fire on any VC that tried to advance into melee with the soldiers. This worked well but it also cost a lot of time. The VC for their part chose to play the wait and see approach against the Army's cautious approach.

Midway through the game two US squads got line of sight on the VC sitting in light jungle on the opposite side of the trail which ran north/south through the center of the map. They were able to spot the VC in the hex. Using small arms fire they shook the VC leader and the squad he was with. Then the NVA column entered the board to the north same turn but the event went to my favor as the Army troops spotted the NVA first, preventing them from assault moving onto the board.

The NVA squads to the north began exchanging fire with US Army squads to the south. The fire combat favored the Americans as the VC failed some of their spotting checks, took more effective fire from the Americans, and generally failed to unshake and rejoin the fight. They did manage to shake an American squad advancing through open ground. This resulted in the creation of a Veteran American Hero who had better morale and a better chance to spot. With die rolls favoring the US, the Army squads were able to advance closer to the objectives. Lt. Jensen called in a fire support mission on the two groups of VC. The spotting round was dead on and he called "fire for effect" over the radio. The arty battery commenced effective fire, shaking all the VC and inflicting minor casualties. A VC Hero, a Healer, emerged from the artillery strike.

The US won the initiative and the VC failed to unshake, though the NVA column regained their composure. Three American squads, including the Hero and both M-60s were two hexes from the NVA and adjacent to the VC occupied hex which had a shaken squad, the shaken VC leader, and the unshaken hero. Splitting to two, the Hero and a squad entered the VC hex, killing the VC Hero and capturing the shaken VC leader and squad, including the RPD machinegun. The two remaining American squads that remained in the hex after the Hero left made a successful spotting check on the NVA group in the huts to the north. They opened up with their firepower and with the aid of the M-60s shook the entire group. The last group of two American squads crossed open ground , one taking a shaking result which generated a Hero. The other American squad kept moving and entered melee with the two remaining VC squads, still shaken from the artillery fire. The Army squad neutralized the VC without opposition. Next turn the VC sniper was eliminated, the NVA were shaken by another attack and eliminated by an Army squad that advanced into melee with them. On the last turn, three of the four objective hut hexes were occupied by the US Army and the last of the Vietnamese combat units were eliminated.

Final score: US 12 VP, Vietnamese 3 VP

Analysis: I ended up conducting a lot of spotting checks and fire combat during this game. Except for once, I don't think I used any US units to draw fire and expose the hidden VC/NVA units. I relied on spotting. I played the attacking Americans more cautiously then I should have. However, the die rolls really favored them this game which made up for their slow approach. Had the VC/NVA done a better job on their attack rolls or rallied more often they scenario would have likely been a lot closer.

I also forgot about the VC sniper. So I didn't put him in play until turn 7 (he starts whenever the VC player wants him to show up). Had I put him in earlier he might have had a delaying effect on the Americans.

2nd play of A Friend in Need

I played the scenario A Friend in Need once again. This time it again went to the US Army by an even wider margin (perfect score). The US Army units would try a faster, less cautious approach this time. They were again organized into three two squad groups. Two of the groups advanced through the north third of the map occupied largely by kunai grass and rice paddies. Another group would skirt the north edge of the jungle in the center of the map.

Moving through the kunai grass, an small NVA column, previously unknown to the Americans, caught sight of a couple of Army squads in the kunai grass. They assault moved into the hut hex on the north edge of the map. Lt. Jenson tried a bold maneuver and advanced into a rice paddy, hoping to get within range to melee the newly arrived partial strength NVA platoon to the north. He and his squad got pinned by fire in the rice paddy. What ensued was a dance by three small formations from each side that tried to out maneuver one another. The battle could have easily gone against the US Army, but the VC and NVA attacks were never very successful; briefly shaking a US squad here and there at the most. US fire was more effective at pinning the Vietnamese, who also had a much harder time rallying. During this time a VC sniper started taking shots at Lt. Jenson's hex in the rice paddy. The sniper helped pin some troops in the hex but he wasn't able to inflict any casualties. The American squad shaken by the sniper seemed to rally right away the next turn.

In typical Hollywood fashion, three Army squads move to melee with Lt. Diem and his one squad of VC. One squad halts, shaken due to the fire but the other two, including one squad carrying an M-60 machine gun successfully enter melee with Lt. Diem and eliminate he and his squad without suffering any casualties.

Just then the radio sputters to life and Lt. Jenson makes contact with base, learning that they have artillery waiting with fire support for a mission. The Americans are lucky and win the initiative. Lt. Jenson calls in for the fire support. The spotting round lands just south of the NVA platoon in the bamboo huts. He directs it back north 50 meters and calls "fire for effect." The NVA take heavy casualties and their Lt. is wounded. Lt. Jenson's squad in the rice paddy with him opens up with their inherent fire power and the aid of the M-60 they are carrying. They are able to take out the squads remaining with the NVA leader with a fire attack. The NVA Lt. was wounded, shaken, and without any troops. He was captured in melee during the next turn.

After this there were a few more turns of maneuvering and combat but the Vietnamese were out of the fight and without leadership at this point. The VC sniper and remaining VC squads were basically ineffective and unable to rally. The US Army managed to control all four village hexes by the last turn and had eliminated the last of the VC on turn 7.

Analysis: Lt. Jensen tried a pretty bold move across the rice paddies near the beginning of the game to close with the newly arrived NVA in the hut hex. Odds were decent that both of the squads with him would get shaken and they did. Fortunately they were able to rally the next turn and the two other American groups of MMC were able to keep the NVA and VC from pummeling Lt. Jensen and his troops in the rice paddy. I used spotting checks far less frequently this game as both sides were maneuvering fairly aggressively to get into position to advance into melee with the enemy. Once again the fire and rally checks heavily favored the Americans. The off board artillery was also very effective and really disrupted the NVA units.

In either of these games I haven't been able to take advantage of the VC's ambush ability, though I have used it successfully in prior plays of this scenario. This was the fifth time I've played this scenario, and though the Americans won both quite handily as described above, the previous three times I played went to the VC, twice with very lopsided victories.
 

Qwirz

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2015
Messages
142
Points
28
Age
50
Location
Roma, ITALIA
Great AARs Ryan!!!
I played this just once with VC and I won. Would like to try US.
Thanks for taking the time to write em!!!:)
 

Ralph Ferrari

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Messages
134
Points
28
Age
53
Great AAR. Thanks for taking the time to type it up. Heroes of the Nam and Falklands are the only two LnLT Modules that I haven't played any of the scenarios from yet. This AAR reminds me that I need to crack open my copy of Heroes of the Nam and play some of the scenarios.
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Messages
67
Points
8
Location
USA
Thanks for the kind words all. I appreciate them.

This is the only LnL module I own...I have FH2 and Anzac Attack and decided it would be good to see how the two different generations compared. While I have no complaints against FH2 I think the improvements (player aids, new rulebook, and countersheets) in Heroes of the Nam are great. I wasn't able to pre-order Falklands but I have a strong interest in it (I love Where There is Discord). Probably try to spring for that later. I did pre-order Day of Heroes and am really looking forward to that.
 

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