View Full Version : FIREBASE: HAMMERHEAD '67 Vietnam

07-04-2011, 07:53 AM
Players of this game will form the core leadership elements of a 50 figure Platoon or company team / [Possibly with PC or NPC allies] Just like an adventuring "party" cooperating together against the NPC forces of the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army.

The whole campaign will tell the story of the initial recon, establishment, and expansion of a fictional Company of U.S. Marines deployed to a Firebase in South Vietnam in the Northern foothills of the Highlands of I Corps in late '67, for a year of their individual service "In-country".

Those players whose personal figure survives a series of game sessions (possibly being wounded, but without being killed) will have "Won" their personal challenge and rotate home.

It is assumed that some characters will be brand new to Vietnam, and some will have been there some months, thus will not have as many sessions to go. This factor is determined by a random die roll.

This game is tentatively scheduled to start on Sunday, 17 July, 1 PM, played in Beltzhoover at a private residence. Days and times might change based on table availability, probably at some point it will move to my home in Carrick (with a day change to Saturdays, and Time change to Evenings), but I will do my best to accomodate people who want to play.

I am open to people trying out the game a few scenarios (which is not a problem), but it is preferred if you can commit to the game long term at some point, simply because of scenario balance, and setup issues of Terrrain, and figures.

There is also possibility that I will be able to support "Side scenarios" with different campaign units, for off days and times, if a player who would like to play, but has work or other responsibilities on the main game day/time that preclude them from joining the main game.

All of this will be integrated into one large combined campaign. So that in one "Alternate" game session, a small Force Recon Team can attempt to find a series of enemy bunkers or a Headquarters that a regular Marine unit can attack a few days later in a different session.

We'll see how that goes. I will do my best to make it fun and avalable. This will be the first time I've run this style of campaign with the rules I am using, and I don't want to overwhelm myself.

Each long term player will generally initially be a US Marine Squad leader, Rank of Sergeant, in control of a squad of "Around" 10-12 minis, the soldiers in their personal squad. A few players could play officers, with more responsibilities, command influence, and paperwork.

Short term, uncomitted, or "tryout" players will generally initially lead a fireteam of "around" four figures, taking cues from higher ranked leaders, or they can play essentially "One-Shot" transient "Characters" specially placed for that specific scenario in the campaign, such as a downed pilot, special forces team leader, an allied South Vietnamese commander, etc.

Any special characters may or may not have thier own individual victory conditions, depending on the scenario.

If enough players join, we can expand the available roles, having players take over direct command of strike aircraft, the Company Forward Observer, Medevac Helos, helicopter gunships, etc. and/or other units that the GM normally controls.

This is because as more players are added, it generates more "Scope of mission, leading to more enemy, leading to more assets used to destroy that enemy."

In effect, the game moves from a Squad ambush game, but with more players it will be a platoon level recon of a large hostile village, to a company sized assault on a reinforced enemy HQ, the more players are added. That's the general idea.

From the initial response to the ad On PPGH Meetup so far, we aren't likely to reach those numbers of people to warrant expansion past a platoon right now, if the trend stays consistent, but one can hope that among 460 meetup members, a few will be interested, or will become interested over time.

The rules set to be used is a variant of RAFM's Charlie Company miniatures rules.

We've got 4 players, and two "Interested, will watch or play a few times, but Schedule doesn't fit" players.

If interested in trying this out, please PM me here or on PGH D&D Meetup. The Meetup is where the Main control of this will happen. See Footer Link in my sig.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-06-2011, 10:57 AM
Your game looks to be a lot of fun. Wish I lived closer. Any chance you hit the California Cons, and if so, let me know so I can sign up for a game.

07-07-2011, 12:21 PM


I will be involved somehow in the game. If needed, people can toss questions my way and I can get the info from Etarnon.

07-14-2011, 09:22 PM
Do to some unforseen snags, Etarnon will be changing the start date of the game to July 24th.

08-12-2011, 11:27 AM
Well, had a test session that went OK. However, the problem with trying to get people together at the same time due to varying schedules, the game has been postponed to next year. Also, some folks that had said they would play, not showing meant there would only be 2 or 3 regular players, and we would like to have more. A plus to this is that it will allow Etarnon time to get all the terrrain and other things together without having to rush to have it for the next session. When the game gets ready to start, there will be a new Campaign listing made.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
08-12-2011, 12:10 PM
Next year? That's too bad, for I was really looking forward to reading about the gaming sessions.

08-12-2011, 12:20 PM
Next year? That's too bad, for I was really looking forward to reading about the gaming sessions.

This will allow you time to move over here and be able to get in on the game Thoth. :biggrin:

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
08-12-2011, 03:23 PM
This will allow you time to move over here and be able to get in on the game Thoth. :biggrin:

I wish.

All I require is a secure job, and a room w/recliner, and we can talk, and in return I am willing to run WFRP1&/or2e, DnD1e, and Traveller CT on a weekly basis - oh, and I am completely willing to play Vietnam 67 on a consistent basis. There's really nothing out here in So. Cal.
Mighty Thoth has left his mental signature.

08-12-2011, 11:43 PM
I need to drop in here more often.

What Patrick says is correct. We had 3 guys say "Like to play. but can't work out schedule", We also had One regular player, very close, plus Patrick living far away, but more than willing, one guy who wanted to try it, but didn't want to go to saturdays, and one guy whose wife is gonna kid up in a few weeks, plus myself.

Thus, I'll be running home brew D&D 3.5, perhaps witrh the 3.5 Birthright playtest conversion rules for politics. I'm thinking we can get more people that way, since lots play 3.5, and Patrick has graciously agreed to alternate his regular saturday night game with my game.

If and when The Firebase Hammerhead gets going, I'll be sure and post status here, along with after-action reports.

Here's the one from the Practice / Training Session:

================================================== ==========
We had:

Me - GM
Dave 2nd Lt. McClaren
Chuck Cpl. Phillips
Kyle - Sgt. Clayton
Andrew - Sgt. Schwarztel



Map of the Op is as follows:

Location: Camp Pendleton, CA
Mission: Provide SEA Pre-Deployment Exercise for USMC Personnel
Date: 15 March, 1967

Forces Involved:
- 1 Squad of 12 men with AK-47 Rifles
- 1 Soviet RPD Light Machine Gun
- 2 RPG Rocket Gunners
- 1 Sniper with Bolt-Action Mosin-Nagant Rifle

Charlie Company 1st Platoon "Vipers"
HQ Squad

2nd Lt. McClaren - Platoon Leader w/ M-14
Platoon Sgt.
Right Guide Sgt.
1 RTO Operator
2 Corpsmen

1st Squad
Corporal Phillips - [Acting] Squad Leader w/ M-14A
2 Corporals w/M14A Automatic Rifles
3 Riflemen/Spotters w/M-14
3 Scouts w/M-14
1 M-79 Grenadier
1 RTO Operator

2nd Squad

Sgt. Clayton - Squad Leader w/ M-79 Grenade Launcher
3 Corporals w/M14A Automatic Rifles
3 Riflemen/Spotters w/M-14
3 Scouts w/M-14
1 RTO Operator

3rd Squad

Sgt. Schwarztel - Squad Leader w/M-14
3 Corporals w/M14A Automatic Rifles
3 Riflemen/Spotters w/M-14 Semi-Automatic Rifles
2 Scouts w/M-14 Semi-Automatic Rifles
1 M-79 Grenadier

Intelligence Brief:
S-2 has collated reports from Aerial and Satellite recon, plus visual sighting reports from Army Long Range Recon Teams that indicate increased activity of some sort around the remote Long Dong village, located in the mountanous foothills of southern Dai Loc Province. Small squad-sized units have been identified carrying supplies by foot, bicycle into the area, utilizing local paths and trails.

The Village itself has been abandoned for some months. The villagers that were present have fled the area after a period of sustained American military activity in the province, including extensive use of Napalm. Thus the village is a "Free-Fire" area, with all individuals encountered considered to be enemy.

Weather Report: Sunny, Dry, and clear for at least the next 24 hours. Temp in mid 90's. Wind negligible.

Available Support: Single battery of 6 X 105mm Howitzers from a US firebase to the North. No forward observer is available at this time. Unit commander is directed to radio for fire support as needed. Area is Cleared Fire Zone. No other support is available, other than UH-1H Medevac, with 5-10 minute arrival time from Da Nang Airfield.

Infil Method: By foot, along local paths and trails, Specific route used is at Commander's discretion.
Exfil Method: By foot, or helicopter, depending on Patrol outcome.

Terrain: A relatively flat valley, with moderate grassy areas. A large number of flooded and abandoned rice paddies, now overgrown with vegetation. Moderate copses of forest, growing thicker at the base of the ridges to the North. The ridges to the North are effectively impassible.

Estimated Enemy Force: Unknown, but could be Local or Main force VC present in Squad to Platoon Strength.

The Mission started with the three squads spread out in a line from North to South, all moving West toward the village. 3rd squad was linked up with HQ Platoon because of a lack of Spare Radio/RTO for 3rd Squad, using the Platoon HQ RTO for comms to other than the Platoon leader. [Unofficially, 3rd Squad leader had 7 months in country, had already been proven to be able to spot hidden enemy positions, and it was common knowledge that the New Guy L.T. was still learning the ropes, most of the guys in his HQ Squad were brand new replacements.]

1st squad (Normally Phillips was the point man, until the Sgt. had been killed last mission) was patrolling in the overgrown paddies, keeping a sharp eye on the banks of the paddies to forward, and in the far distance.

2nd squad patrolled in a cover-and-move tactical leapfrog, a few at a time on overwatch, the rest advancing, moving generally northwest, to get eyes on the stone bridge.

3rd Squad and the HQ Squad moved at patrol speed through the northern wood, watching the woods ahead, and the stone bridge, stopping every few minutes to use binoculars.

Everything was quiet, just the wind was heard. The buildings / huts to the west were seen to be in disrepair, obviously abandoned.

All squads continued moving west for a few minutes.

While moving to the clump of woods east of the Stone Bridge, 2nd squad leader reported to HQ that one of their men had heard a single rifle shot, but there were no apparent casualties.

By this time, 3rd squad had called for a halt in the woods just to the East of the Shallow Stream.

1st Squad continued to advance. Hq squad stopped in the woods with third, looking for enemy.

2nd Squad again reported an incoming single shot of fire, this time striking a private going through his canteen, with him diving to the deck. Now ready for combat, the rest of his unit crawled as fast as they could to cover, to the northeast.

1st squad, held up by the deep water of the paddies were still vulnerable, and could not charge. But it was the opinion of Cpl. Phillips that the sniper was most likely positioned in the woods to his front, a short distance to the west. They advanced as fast as they could, keeping as low as possible in the water of the paddies.

Seconds later, another sniper shot, this time hitting glancing off of 1st Squads rifleman's radio. With a radio check, he assured phillips that his PRC-25 was still functional.

Looking around in the woods with glasses, Phillips identified the sniper's position. Everyone in his squad let loose a volley of fire, without apparently hitting the Sniper, who moved to withdraw.

The Lieutenant ordered the Platoon to "Advance, keeping in cover, with eyes on the buildings." HQ section moved southwest toward the wood northest of the stone bridge, where the stream fed the abandoned rice paddies.

2nd Squad held, gathering up it's guys who were pinned and suppressed moments earlier.

3rd squad moved ahead, crossing the stream to the west at patrol speed without incident, gaining the woods to their front.

15 seconds after hitting the treeline, the pointman of 3rd cried out "Pressure mine!", as he had spotted the trigger of a buried pressure mine, of the type typically attached to a buried artillery shell. It had not gone off, and there were no casualties.

Just then, Sgt. Schwarztel himself spotted movement in the bushes and among the trees to the west, and heard whistles blowing. "Ambush!" was all he had time to yell before the intense chattering fusillade of 12 NVA Regulars, firing AK's in bursts and on full automatic swept through their position. Luckily, almost everyone had very good cover behind the thick boles of trees, which were splintered and bark torn from them by the furious fire. Easily 10 men of 3rd were targets, but only one man was in such a position that he had to dive to the ground, with AK rounds zipping overhead.

Schwartzel found himself and his men still alive, and yelled "Hold what you have! Fire at will!"
The American fire outgoing seemed to have the effect of pinning the North Vietnamese squad in place, but they were still firing back...

Meanwhile, 2nd squad had seen furtive glimpses of movement in one of the village buildings, and a second later, a Soviet-made RPD light machine gun began raking thier position, but the cover of the woods held them relatively safe. 2nd squad let loose a barrage of fire at the 3rd building from the north, but it was mostly ineffective. However the building did start to smolder.

The HQ Squad, in cover, tried to fire toward the NVA in the northern woods, ended up hitting the trees.
Lt. McClaren grabbed the radio, and called for fire, "Cold Steel this is Viper Six, Fire Mission! Grid: Alpha Tango Zero Three Eight Zero Zero Seven, Danger Close! Battery One! Fire for Effect! Over!"
The Artillery unit, Callsign Cold Steel confirmed Coordinates, and radioed back, "Rounds Out!"

5 seconds later, an RPG rocket whoosed out of the 2nd building from the North, aimed for Lt. McClaren's head. He looked up, dove for the deck, and got a faceful of dirt as the rocket shot overhead, passed through the trees he was near, over more grass, detonating on the trees to the northeast, setting a few of them alight.

With the RPG gunner in sight, HQ squad took that building under fire, but didn't hit the rocket-gunner.

1st squad now had a line of sight to the fleeing sniper who was now out of the trees, running west ot the river. With a massive volley if fire, despite shooting through the woods, Cpl. Phillips hit the sniper in the back of the head, and the enemy fell, twitching once.

3rd squad was now pinned down from the enemy AK fire. One of the privates on the forward line took a hit through his lower torso, and fell, bleeding profusely. "Corpsman, Up!" multiple marines near him yelled.

The Lt. in the distance, saw and heard this, grabbed the Corpsman, and said, "Take charge of Jonson, and Ramirez, and aid that man. Watch out for boobytraps!"

With the air whistling from incoming 105 mm rounds the artillery call by the L.T. had been dead on, landing direct atop the enemy pos. Yet, amazingly, some of those hardened NVA veterans kept up the pressure. One of the enemy raised his sights off the ground, propped up on a log, and fired dead on, hitting Sgt. Schwarztel in the upper left chest, near his heart. He soon lost consciousnees, and was bleeding out.

The distance to the Northwest was too far to move in one rush, so the Corpsman and the two privates cut north, keeping eyes on the RPG gunner. Another RPG gunner popped up, in the northern building, but with the ongoing artillery, it was apprently too distracting, he shot at 2nd squad, but the round hit a tree, spraying frags all around. 2nd hit the deck, with no hits on and friendy troops.

The Corpsman and privates arrived at 3rd squad. Marines called, "Over here, Help the Sarge!" One look at the Sergeant told the story, "He's gone. I can probably save this guy. Ramirez, tell the L.T. We need a dustoff. We got one WIA, and one KIA."

Artillery continued to slam into the enemy to the west, with multiple screams evident, as the trees were splintered.

* * *

Referees emerged from the woods, and areas around, The "Corpsman" who was one of these, stood. "Exercise Complete!"

09-30-2011, 11:02 PM
This game has been put on HOLD, until 2012, due to lack of players / schedules don't match. I figure we'll try it in latew winter / Early spring 2012.

12-14-2011, 08:16 PM
This game is gonna start cranking up again at a local Hobby Shop in Brentwood, Temple of the Gaming God, 9 Dewalt Avenue. half a block from McD's at 51 & Brownsville. Not sure of the dayts yet. I have some more models to build. The figs are painted. Looking at sometime in February, 2012