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Author Topic: Running Through the Jungle with Hammertime - Updated 5.2.2022  (Read 7476 times)

Offline Hammertime

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Much like the rest of you, I used my pandemic time to work on a new Vietnam project. I finally had my first game!

Just finished my first mission in a Vietnam War campaign using "The 'Nam: The Way it Was" by Wayne Bollands.

The rules let you use a campaign system and take a platoon through a series of missions with the soldiers surviving from one mission to the next.

Here's the platoon roster:

Having deployed as a platoon straight from training, all of the platoon is rated as veteran infantry (elite airborne infantry - its a mental thing). As we start getting replacements we will start to see trained troops filter in.

Each soldier is numbered to randomize any hits while playing.

3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1/503rd Infantry:

(Not pictured, Forward Observer team and Dog Team)

UH-1D call sign "Lancer 11" was shot down vic An Loc Dong. 3rd Platoon, B Company will secure the crash site and rescue any survivors. Intel reports minimal VC / NVA presence in the area.

US Forces deploy - negative enemy contact.

From left to right, front row: 3rd Squad, M60 Team B, 2nd Squad, M60 team A, 1st Squad. Second row: PSG, Medic, Tiger, Dog Team, FO, PL

The rules as written use a card deck for activation where each side has an assigned suite and each unit an assigned card (ex: 1st Squad, A Team is a 4 of hearts). I instead made a token for each unit from extra 28mm round bases with a national flag on one side and the specific unit on the other.

The first pull:


Using a random number generator (1-47) I rolled a 44. SGT Currie and the dog team tripped a booby trap! (What kind of terrible nose does this dog have?!)

It was right now that I realized I clumped my platoon headquarters VERY closely, with the dog team, PL, and FO caught in the blast zone. (Within 3")

Rolling for hits, the dog gets knocked down and will miss its next turn (maybe it will get its head in the game now), SGT Currie is uninjured, the Lieutenant and his RTO are unscathed. Sadly, the good luck ends there and the FO team takes the brunt of the blast.

SGT Jones and PFC Ciesielski are both killed.

The next few turns are uneventful, with the US forces advancing across the rice paddies with negative contact.

Once 2nd Squad starts to cross the final rice paddy, the NVA make an appearance (of course Army Intel was wrong!).

A fireteam and MMG open up on 1st Squad from a paddy dyke and a log bunker.

PV2 Bracewell is wounded and out of the fight!

Luckily, the next token was for a US Mortar barrage. The platoon leader called it in and dropped some steel on target.

This killed 2 NVA and suppressed both teams.

On the next token one of the US M60 teams sprays the jungle and inflicts a lucky hit on the MMG gun team.

With the only NVA on the field suppressed. 2nd Squad advances into the paddy field towards Lancer 11's crash site.

But quickly trigger more of the ambush with 2 additional NVA fireteams deploying.

The incoming fire fails to cause any US casualties, but 2nd Squad is pinned down in the mud.

The next turn sees another US Mortar token pulled, and 2LT Shull adjusts fire on to the NVA fireteam occupying Lancer 11's crash site.

This kills one of the NVA infantrymen and suppresses the team (I would also assume this destroys Lancer 11 ... so mission failed?).

Just when 2nd Squad thinks they are safe, an NVA MMG bunker opens up from their left flank hitting the RTO, SPC Hodges, in the neck, inflicting a severe wound.

(Interestingly, SPC Hodges was the only out-of-uniform soldier in the squad, being shirtless under his flak jacket. He probably was wearing white socks and had his hands in his pockets too.)

On the US right flank, M60 Team A opens up on the original NVA MMG Bunker, gets another lucky hit, and takes the team out of action.

Trying to flank the bunker hammering away at 2nd Squad, 3rd Squad advances towards the jungle, and promptly triggers another NVA fireteam.

Things are looking grim for 2nd Squad - pinned down in a rice paddy with 3 fireteams and an MMG bunker firing at them, casualties are about to mount. Luckily, the next token pulled is for the A4-B Skyhawk.

The Skyhawk is on target, and drops a load of napalm on the bunker.

The napalm also catches 3 of the NVA infantrymen in the fireteam along the paddy dike. Napalm in this game is lethal, if you get hit you are dead. At this point, the surviving NVA infantrymen decide enough is enough and bug out to Cambodia.

No longer pinned down, 2nd Squad advances by fire towards Lancer 11's crash site.

They inflict a casualty on the NVA fireteam, but it is not enough to suppress the NVA. The NVA's return fire sees SPC Novak take an RPK burst in the neck, killing him and pinning 2nd Squad's Bravo Team.

However, after this exchange of fire the remaining NVA decide to call it a day and retreat into the jungle.

The final tally is:

3 KIA (Jones, Ciesielski, Novak)
2 WIA (Bracewell, Hodges) - Bracewell's wound is severe enough to be sent back to the States, but Hodges will return after the next mission.

10 KIA (5 to the Napalm strike!)

Naturally, the US forces report a body count of 10, with 276 probables. (Westmoreland math at its best)

Being the first mission, 3rd Platoon isn't eligible for any replacements. "Luckily", the FO team are not organic to the platoon and will be replaced by battalion, but we are down 2 permanently from the organic platoon structure, with 1 missing the next mission.

The new, reorganized platoon looks like this:

The PSG's RTO (Maxwell) will replace Hodges while he is recovering, while Allen and Ruiz from the Weapons Squad will fill in as riflemen. Bonilla will pick up Novak's M79 and continue as the team's grenadier.

Overall, this was a fun game and a great introduction to the rules. I would recommend the ruleset to anyone interested in a persistent  Vietnam wargame, at least until Warwick Kinrade's 'Nam 68 comes out.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2022, 01:53:55 AM by Hammertime »

Offline AKULA

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Re: Running Through the Jungle with Hammer
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2021, 12:34:46 PM »
A great first post - welcome to LAF

Lovely looking setup  8)

Offline Bravo Six

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Re: Running Through the Jungle with Hammer
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2021, 12:46:35 PM »
Great AAR Hammer! I've been putting off getting these rules. I might have to remedy that.

I particularly like your use of the canteen "cup" to draw from! Well done!  lol
« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 12:50:52 PM by Bravo Six »
Fields of Fire::Reloaded - The Online Community for Vietnam Wargaming

Offline Paul @ Empress Miniatures

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Re: Running Through the Jungle with Hammer
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2021, 01:49:50 PM »
Looks a good game.  ;)

Offline majorsmith

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Re: Running Through the Jungle with Hammer
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2021, 04:38:19 PM »
Excellent looking game! I love the napalm explosion!

Offline CapnJim

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Re: Running Through the Jungle with Hammer
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2021, 04:55:42 PM »
Great game, great minis, and great scenery!

I, for one, like Mr. Bollands' rules.  I use Wild Geese and The Zone quite a bit with my modern(ish) games.  I also tried The 'Nam, and enjoyed it (albeit our test game was a smaller one than yours).
"Remember - Incoming Fire Has the Right-of-Way"

Offline Hammertime

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Re: Running Through the Jungle with Hammer
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2021, 02:45:03 AM »
Hey Everyone!

Thank you for the warm welcome and all the comments. I'm a long-time lurker and finally feel like I have a LAF-worthy project to share!

That being said, 3rd Platoon has completed its second mission!

With the NVA breaking contact at the end of Mission 1, 3rd Platoon secured Lancer 11's crash site, evacuated their casualties, and resupplied. Once complete, 3rd Platoon was tasked with a new mission:

3rd Platoon, B Company will advance to contact following the enemy survivors from mission 1. Once found, 3rd Platoon will destroy the enemy force.

Here's the platoon roster after the losses suffered on mission 1:

The terrain has moved to the east, with Lancer 11's crash site serving as the new jump off point for 3rd platoon:

1st Squad and M60 Team B are on the left.

3rd Squad, M60 Team A, the Dog Team, and the Platoon Leader are in the center.

2nd Squad and the Platoon Sergeant are on the right.

Hoping for a better result with the dog team, SGT Currie and Ralph take point.

The first token drawn results in an NVA sniper opening up on 2nd Squad!

PFC Hansen takes the shot between his eyes and is killed.

2nd Squad's return fire is both swift and deadly, and the NVA sniper crashes to the earth.

We are off to a great start.

The next token pulled is a booby trap! The random number generator again targets the dog team, who promptly fail their chance to spot the device before detonating.

Astonishingly, their luck holds and the are both knocked down, but otherwise unhurt. I'm starting to think this dog is working for the other side!

3rd Platoon continues their cautious advance without any further mishaps (once I pull a sniper or booby trap token I remove it from the pool. With my luck the Americans would be hit by a booby trap each turn) and begin to take positions at the edge of the jungle overlooking the rice paddies.

Its at this point that the far tree line erupts with fire, as 4 NVA fireteams and an MMG bunker open up on the lead elements of 3rd Platoon (this was the result of a series of NVA tokens being pulled without a US response).

The MMG bunker targets 3rd Squad's Alpha team and inflicts a severe hip injury to SPC Himel, taking him out of the fight.

An NVA squad emerges from the bamboo thicket and targets 3rd Squad's Bravo team and hits the grenadier, PV2 Runyon in the left hand and knocks him out of the fight as well. Also caught in this fire is SGT Currie and Ralph the dog. SGT Currie is missed, but Ralph takes a round in the tail, sending him scampering back to the landing zone and out of the fight (I didn't bother rolling for the wound on Ralph the dog. I'm not a monster).

Things are starting to look grim when the next token pulled brings the American artillery into play. The spotting round is right on target

Fire for Effect!

While not as deadly as I hoped, the artillery barrage manages to take two NVA out of the fight (one KIA, one WIA) and suppresses both teams.

Forced out of their hiding places by the artillery, a 5th NVA fireteam advances into the paddy field in an attempt to flank 1st Squad.

Not to be outdone by the American artillery tubes, the NVA Mortar team springs into action and targets 1st Squad's Alpha team.

(A quick aside for the rules, each miniature and weapons team has a troop quality ranging from militia to elite. In this case, the NVA mortar team is rated as veteran and rolls to shoot with a d8. One of my favorite things about this rule set is that there are no die-modifiers. Instead, the die will shift up or down from d8 down to a d6 or up to a d10 / d12. In order for the mortar team to hit the target they need to roll higher than the defense die of the Americas, in this case a d8 (the Americans are also veterans). However with the distances involved, the mortar team shifts down 2 die to a d4. So the NVA roll a d4 to hit and the Americans roll a d8 to defend. If the NVA have the high roll the round hits the aiming point - in this case SPC Bradford. If the Americans have the high roll the mortar round will scatter and impact somewhere else.)

The NVA Mortar team rolls to hit on a d4 and rolls a 2. Obviously I can roll higher than a 2 on a d8, right?


The round impacts on SPC Bradford and catches all of 1st Squad Alpha team as well as part of M60 Team B in the blast.

SPC Bradford is killed with an abdominal wound from 1st Squad Alpha team, and SPC Whaley is wounded in the lower right leg. 1st Squad Alpha team is suppressed.

The fire isn't all going one way, however, and the Americans manage to kill another two NVA infantryman with a well placed M79 Blooper round

The next two tokens pulled go hand in hand. First SFC Stevenson, the platoon sergeant of 3rd Platoon is activated, immediately followed by our favorite token, the A4-B Skyhawk. I like to picture this as SFC Stevenson grabbing a radio and bringing the heat!

The Skyhawk rolls in

and drops its Napalm right on target, incinerating the MMG bunker, 2 fireteams, and the NVA Platoon leader

With this last explosion, the NVA fade back into the jungle, leaving a battered but unbroken 3rd Platoon to secure the area, police up abandoned weapons, and count the dead.

Mission 2 is in the books. Up until the last moment when the Skyhawk saved the day, I thought 3rd Platoon was going to be wiped out. Even surviving, our platoon is still full of holes

Our losses this mission are:

2 KIA (Hansen, Bradford)
3 WIA (Himel, Runyon, Whaley), plus 1 dog

After two missions we have:

5 KIA (3 from the organic platoon structure)
5 WIA (Luckily SPC Hodges returns next mission)

I created the below table to add another layer to the post-mission clean up and roll a d10 for each WIA:

Whaley - 7
Runyon - 4
Himel - 10

Whaley is out of Vietnam and heading back to the States. Runyon will miss the next 2 missions, while Himel didn't make it.

With the losses we've suffered the platoon sees some extensive reorganization.

First, PFC Wallace and SPC Dikic swap their M16s for M79 grenade launchers.
Second, M60 Team B is folded into 1st Squad's Alpha team.
Third, SPC Hodges returns from his light wounding and takes his place as 2nd Squad's RTO, allowing PFC Maxwell to bring his radio back to the platoon headquarters.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading!

Up next I'll be painting some more US Army replacements, some foxholes from Ironclad Miniatures, and some elevated ground. You can't have a Vietnam war game without some worthless hills to fight over.

Offline tomrommel1

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Re: Running Through the Jungle with Hammer
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2021, 05:29:27 AM »
That is a great AAR
In hoc signo vinces

Have a look at www.wargamesgazette.com

Offline Sgt_T

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Re: Running Through the Jungle with Hammer
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2021, 06:09:44 AM »
Great stuff!
I love the miniatures-eye-view pics.


Offline commissarmoody

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Re: Running Through the Jungle with Hammer
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2021, 06:35:53 AM »
Great report, good too see those rules played out.
"Peace" is that brief, glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.

- Anonymous

Offline Paul @ Empress Miniatures

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Re: Running Through the Jungle with Hammer
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2021, 06:49:33 AM »
Brilliant report , Love the explosion/ napalm markers. :-*

Poor Ralph  :o

However I am left with the vision of you running around the room with a model plan on a selfie stick  lol

Offline Kikuchiyo

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Re: Running Through the Jungle with Hammer
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2021, 09:40:46 AM »
Great AAR

way too many cool threads on here persuading me my next project needs to be a tour

Offline tomrommel1

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Re: Running Through the Jungle with Hammer
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2021, 09:59:34 AM »
Asa I am intending to use the rules ,too. Could you elaborate a bit more on the tokens you use . Especially how you use them for mortarfire or air support?

Offline CapnJim

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Re: Running Through the Jungle with Hammer
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2021, 03:55:56 PM »
Asa I am intending to use the rules ,too. Could you elaborate a bit more on the tokens you use . Especially how you use them for mortarfire or air support?

Good question!  I'm interested in that, too...

Offline Marine0846

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Re: Running Through the Jungle with Hammer
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2021, 01:43:49 AM »
WoW, outstanding in every way.
Look forward to the next mission.

Love the canteen cup for your counters
« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 01:50:30 AM by Marine0846 »
Semper Fi, Mac


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