Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Bad Vibes in the A Shau, November, 1969 (or....I kill you long time!)

Club member Steve, he of the curious need to ram everything on a wargames table, put on his very first game for the club last night. He had worked out some rules based upon Rapid Fire for a Vietnam game, a period he is particularly attached to, organised the scenario, bought and painted a box-full of figures and liaised with some of the other members for extra figures and some terrain. Not bad for a first  try at something like this; he made a good job of it too.

He had organised the six players with commands, I ended up with some very enthusiastic peasants armed with a variety of weapons useful for close quarter fire-fights. Phil and Alex had better quality Vietnamese forces. Clive, Andy and Mark took on the roles of imperialist pigs; bit of typecasting there methinks. The game was based around the Americans attempt to rescue the crew of a downed helicopter, we nasties had the job of stopping them. This was a major rescue attempt, never seen so many Americans all moving in the same direction....not in this part of the jungle anyway! I had the joy of just reaching the river clearing, where the downed aircraft was, when a 'Loach' appeared over the trees....apparently, this is not a fish but a small scout type helicopter. Don't tend to see many of them during my eighteenth century games or ww1 skirmishes! I shot it down! Me! Me of the unfortunate dice! My guys missed the crew of the first downed helicopter, now being ushered away by a rescue team but that was OK, I had created my own downed crew.

I was then on the receiving end of bad news when two gun ships turned up to support the evacuation and made a bit of a mess but...long story short (too late) I managed to shoot one of those down too! It was the luckiest of lucky shots of course, poor Clive was more than a little disappointed to say the least. So far my guys, the sorriest bunch ever to hold an AK47, were having a great time.

My fellow non-Americans were holding their own too. Phil manged to hold off the worst of a Grunt ground assault (see? I am even getting the hang of the lingo!) with a few casualties....up until a swarm of helicopters turned up with reinforcements quickly followed by a plane (don't ask me what it was). The plane made the previous mess even worse with a bombing run and more casualties for us but, we held our own. Alex was now getting involved as his posh troops turned up to help off-set the American advance although we were still out-numbered. That said, the Americans had left more aircrew behind than they had originally come to rescue! Steve declared that the Glorious Forces of the Peoples Vietnam had gained a partial victory. I was just happy that Steve's game and hard work had paid off....and that I had been the cause of casualties rather than a net importer as usually happens.

The rules and scenario were not perfect (only minor tweaks needed) but everyone had a good evening and the game was well thought out, all very enjoyable; the definition of a good game. Hopefully, Steve will build on this and has already offered to run a follow on game next year. I for one look forward to it, although I think I used up all my Vietnam luck during this game! 

For me, this is an important aspect of any club, giving people the chance, confidence and support to run games of their own. We do get a good mix of games at the MHWC and when the least experienced members can feel comfortable enough to get so involved it can only bode well for us as a club.

Nice one Steve, well done.

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