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Made in us
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Street Grump





Chicago

Hey All
Hoping someone can provide a little more insight on Flames of War Vietnam, noticed some of the models at my FLGS the other day and when I asked about it I was told that new models are put out once a year and that the game used the basic FOW rule set but you can find the specific Vietnam unit rules in a magazine. Didn't have much time to chat about it but was wondering if you guys can confirm that new models are only released once a year?


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Made in ca
Regular Dakkanaut



Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Originally Battlefront did a special limited release of some Vietnam models around Christmas of 2009.

Since that was popular they have done a slightly larger range and made it part of their "permenant range". They haven't (as far as I know) said how often there will be new releases but once a year sounds reasonable.
   
Made in us
Major





Philadelphia

If you can grab a copy of the April issue of Wargames Illustrated, you'll find a good bunch of lists that I believe Battlefront just released in a small booklet.

You've got Air Cav, Black Horse Armored Cavalry, Mech Infantry, and Tanks. The PAVN have only a single list in the release, but their special rules make them an infantry horde that the Soviets would turn green with envy to look at.

I don't play it myself, but it looks pretty awesome. And seeing a bunch of helicopters on the table always gets 'Flight of the Valkyries' going in my head.

Stormstrider wrote:Misread intentions, gratuitous grandstanding, endless pedantry... Looks like any other thread on here.
By Brush And Sword, my blog 
   
Made in gb
Oberleutnant





All of the usual suspects do 15mm Vietnam as well. Old Glory, Peter Pig, QRF, Skytrex, as well as Flashpoint.

"There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all" Mario Savio 
   
Made in ie
Rivet Counter



Kildare, Ireland

I cant think of a set of rules less suited to playing Vietnam games than Flames of War.

But then I have just finished writing a 200+ page supplement on Vietnam for Force-on-Force so Im very particular about how I game Vietnam.

I shant comment on the content of the FOW booklet as it has a few errors on a historical level, but if you want it, I can send it to anyone who would like it.

Have to say though, the models look nice and there are plenty of 15mm Vietnam models on the market.
   
Made in us
Screaming Shining Spear





Chicago

I just bought the booklet. It's nice but rather heavily in favor of the US. The only commie list included with it is the PAVN, essentially the North Vietnamese regular army and, while I can tell the designers are trying to really get the "feel" for irregular warfare, I just don't think FOW can accurately portray it without the NVA/VC player having hordes of infantry.

They're supposed to come out with rules for ANZACs, VC, & Khmer Rouge, so maybe they can get it right. As it stands now though, it's essentially the same thing as playing a regular FOW game of US Armoured Co. (or Motorized Co.) vs. Russian infantry horde.

I've heard that Charlie Don't Surf is supposed to be the "best" ruleset for Vietnam but YMMV.





"40k is a game meant to be downed with a pint (of Guinness)...chutes and ladders with prettier game boards where you can be excited by your grot killing off a chaos lord occasionally."
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The Last Czarnian






The Northwest Territory

Big P wrote:I cant think of a set of rules less suited to playing Vietnam games than Flames of War.


ancientsociety wrote:I just bought the booklet. It's nice but rather heavily in favor of the US. The only commie list included with it is the PAVN, essentially the North Vietnamese regular army and, while I can tell the designers are trying to really get the "feel" for irregular warfare, I just don't think FOW can accurately portray it without the NVA/VC player having hordes of infantry.



To be fair, Battlefront have said in their own spotlight article on Tropic Lightning, that at least as it stands currently, FOW Vietnam is not really equipped to deal with the many smaller actions of the Vietnam war. The rules are set up for the (admittedly fewer) large scale battles and major offensives. I'm certainly interested in giving it a read and a try before passing judgment.


Just curious Big P, but what historical errors are in the Tropic Lightning book?

   
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Orc Bully with a Peg Leg



toms river, nj

It's not a bad game its very limited I was a play tester on this project but really helios are over. Powered and as pavn you always need max anti air its fun for a once every few months set up a scenario and spend a Saturday playing and drinking beers

 
   
Made in ie
Rivet Counter



Kildare, Ireland

Hordini wrote:
Big P wrote:I cant think of a set of rules less suited to playing Vietnam games than Flames of War.


ancientsociety wrote:I just bought the booklet. It's nice but rather heavily in favor of the US. The only commie list included with it is the PAVN, essentially the North Vietnamese regular army and, while I can tell the designers are trying to really get the "feel" for irregular warfare, I just don't think FOW can accurately portray it without the NVA/VC player having hordes of infantry.



To be fair, Battlefront have said in their own spotlight article on Tropic Lightning, that at least as it stands currently, FOW Vietnam is not really equipped to deal with the many smaller actions of the Vietnam war. The rules are set up for the (admittedly fewer) large scale battles and major offensives. I'm certainly interested in giving it a read and a try before passing judgment.


Just curious Big P, but what historical errors are in the Tropic Lightning book?


#Disclaimer - I dont play FOW, but I do realise what they have done is fudge things to make a playable game. Im fine with that but having just worked on a supplement on Vietnam, drawing on 15 years research by my co-author, I guess it gives me a different perspective. Now despite what Im gonna say, the main thing with ANY game is enjoyment. If this floats your boat and you spend a few hours having a good time, then who cares - Thats what is important in my book. Anyway, for those as anal as me, read on...#



There is no attempt at recreating assymetric warfare. Its FOW with different figures. Thats what I find odd. If you want to wargame Vietnam, would you not want to recreate that wars particular flavour rather than playing something utterly at odds with real events? Ok, FOW may not be the most realistic WW2 game engine, but its as good as many. But it dont work for Vietnam. Vietnam was a unique and perculiar war, thats what makes it a fascinating period to game - why on earth lose that? They have done wonderful models for it and had they even tried to recreate it, they may have appealed to alot of gamers. As it is, I suspect most will get the figures to use with other systems. I would suggest 'Charlie Dont Surf' for company sized engagements and 'Force-on-Force', with my own 'Ambush Valley' valley supplement (get my plug in now!) for actions at a below company level and particuarly platoon level. If you want to go lower than that and do individual man-to-man skirmish, then FNG is possibly the best choice. But Vietnam gamers are spoilt for choice. There are lots of figures, in various scales and as many rules to match!

Also, despite popular imagery, the North did not utilise 'hordes' of infantry as their tactic of choice. They fought a long guerilla campaign, often utilising small units to great effect, as seen during the Tet Offensive. PAVN troops deployed in the same manner as the PLAF(Viet Cong for those who want to use the American term for them - The term is not a Vietnamese word but was created by the US as it sounded more scary than 'Viet Minh'!) - acting as a regular core to Main Force and on occasion Local Force units as trainers and a regular cadre around which part-time fighters could be built. 'Human Wave' attacks were almost exclusively reserved for firebase assaults and could on occasion be quite effective. They were generally well planned and often well rehearsed assaults with mass troops following well trained and highly dedicated sapper units.

There just wasnt a stand-up war in Vietnam. Action such as La Drang were the exception to the rule - and a real big exception at that! Vietnam was a war that didnt really act in a conventional manner till 1972 when the US ground forces had pulled out and the PAVN took on the ARVN toe-to-toe, even then with US air power still being provided PAVN losses were staggering in the face of US firepower. In short, the North Vietnamese could not fight a normal conventional war against US firepower. They knew that and never tried.

As for the booklet, well the force lists provided for both sides are clearly designed to allow the player to have all the cool toys on the table at the same time, especially the PAVN list. Now they have fudged it to make a force playable in a pitched battle - fair enough I suppose as it wouldnt be much of a game without it. But its pretty much fiction really. The PAVN just didnt fight like that and didnt deploy support like the lists suggest. Though people who complain that the helos in TL are too easy to damage probably need to read up on helo losses in the theatre.

Also the US list is the same. Its fudged to get all the cool toys in... The Zippo's for instance rarely, if ever, deployed as a full unit and rarely in combat operations. They were mainly used for firebase defence and road convoys, using the flamethrowers for clearing foliage from roads and around firebases. Each Zippo had to operate with two M35 trucks carrying the extra fuel needed for operations, making them somewhat unsuitable for offensive action. They did use them for destroying bunkers but it seems to have been mainly in areas already secured. If they wanted 'sexy' M113s then allowing players to retrofit them with all manner of weapons could have been done. US troops in the field fitted 40mm Grenade Launchers, Recoilless Rifles and 7.62 Miniguns on their M113s. All sorts of fun could have been had! There are a few other factual errors in the text but thats getting really anal...

Finally to complete the plug for my supplement, I would suggest that any gamer who wants to play Vietnam gets it. While the rules in it are for Force-on-Force, we have around 200 pages of background and force data, much of which has never been seen in print before. Its really a huge resource for any budding FNG! Its due out in October from Osprey, but here is the contents list to give you a sneak peek...




CONTENTS
Introduction.
A Place Called Vietnam.
Vietnamization - New Rules
The Advisory Period (1965-64)
The Defense, Counteroffensive, and the End (1965-1975)
Unit Organizations.
The United States.
US Basic Infantry Units.
US Army Rifle Company.
US Army Rifle Company.
USMC Infantry Company.
Specialized Infantry Units.
US Army EOD Detachment
USAF Combat Security Police Flight
Above Company Level
US Military Armor Units.
Basic Armor Units.
USMC Medium Tank Company, Tank Battalion.
USMC Anti-Tank Company, Tank Battalion.
USMC Amphibian Tractor Company, Amphibian Tractor Battalion.
Specialized Armor Units.
US Army Airborne Tank Company, Separate Airborne Brigade.
US Army Artillery Battery (Automatic Weapons, Self Propelled and .50 Caliber Machine Gun), Artillery Battalion (Automatic Weapons, Self-Propelled)
Miscellaneous US Army Armor
US Air Force Armor
Above Company Level
US Army Cavalry Units.
Division and Brigade Cavalry Units.
US Army Armored Cavalry Troop, Cavalry Squadron, Infantry and Infantry Division (Mechanized)
US Army Cavalry Troop, Cavalry Squadron, Airborne and Airmobile Division Or Separate Brigade (Light)
US Army Air Cavalry Troop, Cavalry Squadron, Infantry, Infantry Division (Mechanized), Airborne Division, Airmobile Division, or Separate Brigade (Light)
The Armored Cavalry Regiment
US Army Armored Cavalry Troop, Armored Cavalry Squadron, Armored Cavalry Regiment
US Army Air Cavalry Troop, Armored Cavalry Regiment
Above Troop Level
The Republic of Vietnam.
Infantry Units.
ARVN Infantry Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment
ARVN Mechanized Rifle Troop, Armored Cavalry Squadron.
ARVN Regional Force Company, Regional Force Battalion.
ARVN Regional Force Mechanized Platoon.
ARVN Popular Force Platoon.
VNMC Infantry Company, VNMC Infantry Battalion.
NPFF Company.
Armored Units.
ARVN Tank Troop, Armored Cavalry Squadron.
ARVN Tank Company, Armor Battalion.
ARVN Armored Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop, Armored Cavalry Squadron.
ARVN Armored Car Troop, Armored Car Squadron.
Free World Armed Forces.
Australia and New Zealand.
ANZAC Rifle Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment
Australian Tank Troop, Tank Squadron, Tank Regiment
Australian Cavalry Troop, Cavalry Squadron, Cavalry Regiment
The Republic of Korea.
ROKA Rifle Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment
ROKMC Rifle Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment
The Kingdom of Thailand.
RTA Rifle Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment
The Republic of the Philippines.
Philippine Army Rifle Company, Infantry Battalion Combat Team
Special Operations Forces.
US Army Special Forces
US Army Infantry Company, Ranger
US Army Infantry Platoon, Scout Dog
US Navy SEAL Platoon
USMC Force Reconnaissance Company
USMC Reconnaissance Company, Reconnaissance Battalion, Marine Division
South Vietnamese Luc Luong Dac Biet (LLDB)
South Vietnamese So Cong Tac (Special Mission Service)
South Vietnamese Lien Doi Ngoui Nhia (LDNN) and So Phong Ve Duyen Hai (Coastal Security Service)
ANZAC Special Air Service Troop, Special Air Service Squadron, Special Air Service Regiment
Special Programs
The Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) Program
Projects Delta, Sigma, and Omega
Intelligence Collection and Exploitation (ICEX) and the Phoenix / Phung Hoang Program
The Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front
The People’s Army of Vietnam..

PAVN Infantry Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment
PAVN Sapper Company, Sapper Battalion.
PAVN Armor Company, Armor Battalion, Armor Regiment
The People’s Liberation Army and People’s Liberation Armed Force.
PLAF Infantry Company (“Main Force” and “Local Force”), Infantry Battalion, Infantry Regiment
PLAF Sapper Company, Sapper Battalion.
A Not So Secret War – Laos & Cambodia.
Laos.
Unit Organizations
The Armee Nationale Laotienne, Forces Armee Laotienne, and Forces Armee Royales
ANL/FAL/FAR Infantry Company, Infantry Battalion
The Hmong Irregulars
The Thai Unity Battalions and Other Irregulars
Cover Operations in Laos
The Pathet Lao.
Cambodia
Unit Organizations
The Forces Armees Royales Khmere
ARK Infantry Company, Infantry Battalion
The Forces Armees Nationales Khmere
ANK Infantry Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Division and Separate Infantry Brigade
ANK Mechanized Squadron, Infantry Division and Mechanized Regiment Armored Brigade
ANK Armored Brigade
FANK Special Forces A Detachment and B Detachment
Covert Operations in Cambodia
The Khmer Rouge
Unit Organizations.
The Forces Armees Royales Khmere.
ARK Infantry Company, Infantry Battalion.
The Forces Armees Nationales Khmere.
ANK Infantry Company, Infantry Battalion, Infantry Division and Separate Infantry Brigade.
ANK Mechanized Squadron, Infantry Division and Mechanized Regiment Armored Brigade.
ANK Armored Brigade.
FANK Special Forces A Detachment and B Detachment
Covert Operations in Cambodia
Scenarios
Battle of Ap Bac, 2nd January 1963
First with Honour 1964
Enemy at the Gate, 31st January 1968
Shutting the Barn Door, 1st February 1968
The Ben Cam Sweep, 28th November 1969
Firefight along the Dong Nai, June 1969
Battle of Binh Ba, 6th–8th June 1969
The Longest Fight, An Loc 1972
Vehicle Appendix.
Bibliography.


http://www.amazon.com/Ambush-Valley-Vietnam-1965-1975-Force/dp/184908534X

I think we pretty much covered everything...
   
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Screaming Shining Spear





Chicago

@Big P: I'm interested!

If the Vietnam book fully inclusive or do I need a copy of Ambush Alley to play it?





"40k is a game meant to be downed with a pint (of Guinness)...chutes and ladders with prettier game boards where you can be excited by your grot killing off a chaos lord occasionally."
-derling (edited for appropriateness)

Adepticon 2011 FOW EW tournament - Best Painted Allied Army - French 59th DLI
DP9 Golden Gear 2011 - Best Arena Mascot - "The Kegerator" 
   
Made in ie
Rivet Counter



Kildare, Ireland

Yes... you will need the new Force-on-Force main rules.

Amazon have some good deals on them.
   
Made in us
Screaming Shining Spear





Chicago

Is it difficult to play and overly complicated like FoG?





"40k is a game meant to be downed with a pint (of Guinness)...chutes and ladders with prettier game boards where you can be excited by your grot killing off a chaos lord occasionally."
-derling (edited for appropriateness)

Adepticon 2011 FOW EW tournament - Best Painted Allied Army - French 59th DLI
DP9 Golden Gear 2011 - Best Arena Mascot - "The Kegerator" 
   
Made in ie
Rivet Counter



Kildare, Ireland

ancientsociety wrote:Is it difficult to play and overly complicated like FoG?


Nope.

Here are the free quick start rules to give you an idea...

http://ambushalleygames.com/resources/downloads/31-extras/54-force-on-force-quick-start-rules

Basically everything works off a success rating of 4+ on the dice and your opponent 'opposes' your dice with his.

Trust me, I dont do complex rules... My brain cant handle them
   
Made in ca
Regular Dakkanaut



Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

ancientsociety wrote:Is it difficult to play and overly complicated like FoG?


I have only played the pre-Osprey version of Force on Force but I found that once I got my head around the dice mechanic (which is not all that complicated) it is one of the most straightforward games I have played
   
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Hatfield, PA

Hordini wrote:
To be fair, Battlefront have said in their own spotlight article on Tropic Lightning, that at least as it stands currently, FOW Vietnam is not really equipped to deal with the many smaller actions of the Vietnam war. The rules are set up for the (admittedly fewer) large scale battles and major offensives. I'm certainly interested in giving it a read and a try before passing judgment.


Just curious Big P, but what historical errors are in the Tropic Lightning book?


The one thing I really don't like about it is that there is very limited playability for Blue on Blue battles. It is very rare to get the same number of good guys armies and bad guys armies in any kind of league. PAVN on PAVN is no big deal. Infantry on infantry can give a very interesting game, but the various US lists fighting against each other either see whichever player has better off table support wipe out the opposition really fast, or the weapons just are incapable of even hurting the other armored vehicles at all. Makes for really boring games that way. US on PAVN looks to play really well though.

It is all a matter of scale though. Yes FoW is geared towards larger engagements, so I would use FoW for things like the Tet Offensive and for the Tropic Lightning scenarios and then pick up a separate skirmish level game for the other types of fights. This will, of course, require maintaining multiple scales of forces for the period, but if you are into the period, so what??

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Didn't see this thread the first time through.

duncana wrote:Originally Battlefront did a special limited release of some Vietnam models around Christmas of 2009.

Since that was popular they have done a slightly larger range and made it part of their "permenant range". They haven't (as far as I know) said how often there will be new releases but once a year sounds reasonable.


Battlefront stated (in an announcement laying out their publishing schedule for the rest of the year) that Vietnam releases would be limited to once per year. Given that plenty of people (including some here) are going ballistic over the idea that BF would do anything other than a favorite WW2 topic (i.e. "How dare they put out itty bitty Vietnam releases when they still haven't done Pacific!?"), they don't really dare do more than that. The same announcement also suggested that the releases would be every April.

The comments that some have made here about Vietnam probably being somewhat inappropriate for FoW have been made elsewhere by others, including on the official boards. But Battlefront really doesn't have the time and resources to devote to an entirely new game. The shift to Vietnam more or less arose out of a lark. Apparently a bunch of the Battlefront staff watched "We Were Soldiers", and while the upper management was away the staff decided to go ahead and create figures and rules to simulate the action in the film. When the management came back, they were presented with a fiat accompli. So they made the initial offer in 2009, which was just limited to Air Cav and PVAN, and was only available for a limited time. And then that sold very well. So they made the understandable decision to expand it.

And now they've got a setting that uses heavily shoe-horned rules.

On the other hand, apparently it's doing reasonably well. At my FLGS, we've had several people who've never shown any interest in WW2 FoW dive right into Vietnam, purchasing full armies before they'd even tried out the rules.

I like the figures, for the most part. The notable exception is the Sheridan. While most of the model appears to be fine, the birdcage (the armored shields surrounding the commander's turret and .50 cal) is a disaster. In real life the turret hatch is supposed to shield the sides of the birdcage when the hatch is open (there's an ACAV shield in front, and a U-shaped piece in the rear). But you literally can't assemble the bird cage as shown unless you cut off the raised hatch panels. There's also a thread on BF's own forums mocking the PVAN helmets, though I haven't looked too closely at them myself.


In any event, if you enjoy it then good. If you don't, then that's okay too. And it's probably best to avoid it if you're likely to get hung up on elements of it.
   
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From Minerva with love melon-fether

I've got a feeling that the rules might get a revision or addition next year now that they've released Infantry Aces for FoW. Who knows, maybe they'll use that to steer it back towards the smaller infantry engagements?

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Regular Dakkanaut



Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

I think the Air Cav scenarios from the original release will be fun but I am (slowly) painting up my forces in anticiapation of Ambush Valley (for Force on Force)
   
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I have played ambush valley at platoon level, LOVED it. Played Piquet at battalion level, loved it.

With the understanding that FoW wrote this more for the few larger scale battles that occurred. I wouldn't completely throw FoW out of your consideration for lower level actions (company level). With a well designed scenario and using using victory conditions/fieldworks you can mimic more of the hit and run, ambush and defend prepared position then escape type actions that were hallmarks of PAVN/VC strategy more so than large scale assaults.

I also hope to see some additions and rewrites of the FoW sourcebook. More on the prepared positions (bunker/tunnel complexes), adding VC, ARVN, ROK, ANZAC, Khmer Rouge lists, etc... Given the popularity of the base ruleset. It could only help the hobby for them to get this right. Flames isn't a great simulation, however it is a great game with some historical accuracy... which seems to be what the younger gaming population wants. Game first, accurate somewhat close second.

And the more people buying figures and playing is good for all of us gamers...
   
 
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