Dan and I looked forward to this game. It was tactical, which I normally don’t like, but there was so much color, it looked like a winner. Plus, there had been lots of buzz, lots of fond memories. We got together on February 24, 2012 for a quick spin of the Basic game. It was fun, but a bit silly with bullets whizzing through forests as if they weren’t there.
Because the rules are bit strangely laid out, we weren’t quite sure how we should set up or handicap each player. We settled on playing the basic set-up with most of the Standard rules: Alpha Company flies in on helicopters on a search and destroy mission. In the area are a number of food, ammo and weapons caches and heck of a lot of Victor Charlies, some hostile, most just farmers.
You’ll notice I made Grunt a block game. That was a stroke of brilliance. Throughout the Basic game, Dan had to keep flipping his counters to remember what was what. Took forever. With blocks, we kept the fog of war and things moved very quickly. So I tried putting most of my caches in deep jungle, the idea being they’d be hard to get to. The problem is, VC take as long to penetrate the trees as GIs. Luckily, I started with an advantage. One of Dan’s Helos happened to be in the range of one of my units (the regular in the bottom right) and got shot down. Right away, I was up 60 points.
Unfortunately, the rest of the game all went Dan’s way. I had a pair of snipers near the middle of the map, and one of them tied up a couple of his squads. Dan got a lucky shot, and the sniper was felled quickly, freeing up the soldiers. He also got 10 points.
All in all, it was a one-sided affair. My Charlies couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn (except for that lucky helo hit) and Dan’s Americans were eagle-eyed.. probably from all that hunting. But then we went back to the rules and it seems the VC are supposed to get a 75 point handicap when the Americans deploy a company straight up and the VC have the basic setup. Now, the Americans didn’t have the couple of extra fire teams, and we weren’t playing with the optional artillery/air-strike rules, but it’s pretty clear the VC need some help. We decided I had won, 155 to 125, but we would play another game with swapped sides with the exact same rules, in the interest of fairness.
On to Session #2!