Friday, May 3, 2013


'Tour of Duty', Battlefronts new Vietnam war book has been in my hands for the last few days and  I have been flicking back and forth like a mad man. I was excited when the first Battlefront Vietnam rules and lists appeared a few years back and I put it in my 'the seeds have been sown' file. Which as you know means that one day a new project will appear on a painting table.
A bloody good rule book
A few years back I came across a demo game in Brisbane run by Flashpoint. While not that enthused by the rules they were using I am very intrigued about the Flames of War rules with the Vietnam twist from Tour of Duty. The 2013 version sees ANZAC tanks and infantry options available and as you can imagine here in Darwin, Australia that alone has had gamers thinking about possibilities on the table top. You would think that with my blog alias as The Kiwi that I would be keen to play as Kiwis in Vietnam games. I am. But the thought of painting and basing lots of infantry is a mental battle at the moment. So maybe later.
Initially when the first lists came out I liked the idea of running a kind of tank force instead. It's not an aspect of warfare that I immediately associate with the Vietnam war. Patrols and infantry engagements, tunnel clearance, ambush and disappear guerrilla type warfare is possibly the first aspects that comes to mind (and the sound of thumping helicopters of course). So using lots of M113 ACAV light tracks from the Blackhorse Cavalry Regiment is what I have initially settled on. I like the look of the new M113 ACAV plastic kits as well (I just ordered 3 of them). The force can have Flame Tanks (I like Flame Tanks). The force can have Sheridan tanks. Infantry is also an option but not a compulsory option. How well will a force with no Infantry play on tables that are unlikely to be track friendly? Dense jungles, woods, wet rice paddies and so on. This will a big part of this wargamers tabletop adventure of discovery and I am looking forward to the challenge.
New projects are exciting.  New rules are interesting.
An aspect of Tour of Duty which will actually make it easier to get into playing actual games (without using proxies that is) is of course what I choose to put in a force. Reading the missions and special rules one in particular jumped out at me.
'Fire Support Base'.
_____ (insert artillery platoon here) must (may for some platoons) be held off table in missions that use the Fire Support Base special rule. 
Mortars, Howitzers and Self Propelled guns. So of the 8 missions in the book all 8 have that rule. So no need to paint and purchase those miniatures perhaps. Yaaaay!
That just sped up the completion time for my force. However two of the missions are Air Mobile force required so if you want to play those missions some Hueys and U.S. Infantry will be handy. The book also has the option to 'Viertnamise' FoW rulebook missions. Which could see artillery platoons on the table. Lots of possibilities.
The book really helps our gaming experience by adding 'what if' information. An example is the lack of Anti-tank rounds the Australian Centurions tanks had in Vietnam. Another aspect that I like is that smaller point limit games will be as equally tense, exciting and fun as the larger pointed games in my opinion. The What Would Patton Do blog have posted some after action reports that are well worth checking out.

Cheers for now from Brendon (The Kiwi)

No comments:

Post a Comment