Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Boots on the ground: Squad Battles Tour of Duty AAR

Now for something completely different. A Squad Battles AAR this time using Tour of Duty. Tour of duty is the mega follow up to the award winning Squad Battles Vietnam which was a title that really earned John Tiller some kudos.

I decided to get used to the game again by simply playing the tutorial scenario. This one was fun as I recall and featured a lot of helicopters and fast air cav gameplay.

Not much data in the scenario except this:
This scenario is based on the historical battle of Hoa Hoi and represents a classical air cavalry engagement.
Not enough data for me so I did a little background searching. Thanks to
Hoa Hoi was located at the base of the Hung Lac Peninsula between the Mieu Mountains and the South China Sea. Sweeping toward the South China Sea, in an effort to pacify Binh Dinh province, was the 1st Cavalry Division. By October 1, 1966, the Cav's 1st Brigade was north of Hoa Hoi, fanned out across the coastal corridor between Highway 1 and the South China Sea. To the west of the village, generally along the highway, was the 3rd Brigade. Inside the cordon were assorted local VC elements and the 18th NVA Regiment, believed to be in the Mieu Mountains.

Ok no more delays lets begin shall we?

I am using the options listed below. I like the Helicopter Hover rule since it forces more realism. You must move your choppers or they will be tagged with hovering and really easy to shoot down.

The situation is pretty basic at first. I have one OH-13 Sioux from the 11th Cav Division and obviously this is meant for recon.

I don't take any fire until I get near Hoa Hoi. Uncovered is an unknown unit of about 1-9 men. I quickly get the Sioux out of there. I don't need the VC getting cheap points for shooting down a scout chopper. I cant help but to resist taking a few shots however.

On turn 2 my UH-1C Huey Attack specified choppers enter the board and now it is game on. I decide to head toward the town unload some of my rockets and guns at a safe range. I send one Huey south to come around using the trees for cover and he starts taking fire from a VC unit in the woods. They are dangerously close the the choppers if forced to peel off.

On turn 3 of 9 the 11th Air Cav sends me Huey Choppers loaded with Army troops and now I have some ground forces to fly in and drop off. I send one chopper off toward the 20 point VP spot in the road and the rest will all go south. The earlier choppers will provide cover from a safe distance.

Huey 1 drops off 9 men near the first victory point and we have BOOTS ON THE GROUND!

I sweep the rest of the transports choppers south and hide in the trees. They take sporadic fire but nothing is hit.

Suddenly on turn 4 we have movement everywhere. I spot at least 4 VC squads coming out of cover and racing to cover my target spots. There are small amounts of men crawling out of the high grass but nothing the US AIR CAV cannot handle.

I open fire but my rocket Huey takes fire from the VC on the south forest line and is shot down. There are no survivors! I am down a chopper now and need to move fast. All over the sounds of gunfire can be heard exploding through the woods.

The 9 men of Blue 4 move up and take the first 20 point objective. They hug the ground and open fire on the 2 VC that came out of the hut to the west. The VC become pinned.

To the south Blue 1,2 and 3 as well as the Platoon leader wait until the choppers hit a clearing and they are unloaded. All the choppers safely disembark their men and then lift again under fire, zooming north to provide air cover as the men move toward Hoa Hoi.

On turn 5 I lose another Huey to the east along the forest from a well place shot. 2 choppers down now. I need to get into the village fast and silence those rifles.

My men march into the village from the SE and take some heavy fire. Blue 1,2 and 3 secure the town. One Victory point spot left. Now to avoid casualties.

Blue 3 loses 3 men advancing toward the VC hut and another Huey gets shot down to the East of the village trying to get away into the treeline. I am taking a lot of casualties now.

On turn 8 several VC units make a run for it allowing me to catch them in the open but I am also one VP spot short and that could cost me. I have to send some men for the last Victory Point this turn or it is likely I wont have enough points. By the end of turn 8 all VC have been cleared north and east and the choppers sweep in toward the town. I send Blue 4 south down the road as fast as possible to capture the last Victory Point spot. Can they make it?

During my part of turn 9 I gun down and kill the last VC unit that was demoralized and making a run for it. The game has ended and all resistance has been swept off the map. However I lost a lot more helicopters than I would have liked. All that is left to do now is end the final turn and see the score.

Well it was as I feared. The loss of the helicopters ruined everything else and cost me a WHOPPING -48 points which easily reduced most of the 60 plus I earned. The key to this scenario is really not to lose more than one chopper if you can help it. A draw on my first game back. Not too exceptional but better than losing I guess.