02 February 2018

Another Tour of Duty - 'Nam Review

In the first of Battlefront's periods to get the V4/TY re-visit, 'Nam will take us back to the jungles of Vietnam. This is most definitely a volume I've been waiting for for some time. I've had a US force for Vietnam for some time, so I'm excited to get them on the table in with a new ruleset.

Published in conjunction with Osprey and written by Behind Enemy Lines OG, Mike Haught, 'Nam comes in at a whopping 230 pages! The book is different in size from other Battlefront volumes and is the same dimensions as the current Bolt Action rulebook. Don't let the size daunt you though as the majority of the pages are taken up by Formation lists for the US, ANZAC, PAVN and ARVN.

The start of the book provides a very good run-down of the history of the Vietnam War and also explains that, while the popular depiction of the war was of jungle fighting by small platoons of troops, there were also large scale battles that were fought during 'Nam, which is what you're able to recreate here.

Players familiar with V4 Midwar Flames of War and also Team Yankee will have an advantage over newer players here, with the rules themselves being drawn from these games.

Now, let's take a look at the formations you can field. I'm not going to go into extreme detail on each, there's just too many of them, and we'll cover them in separate articles over the coming weeks.

'Nam will let you build your US forces from either:

- 1st Cavalry Division - 'First Team'
- 11th Armoured Cavalry Regiment - 'Blackhorse Cavalry'
- 25th Infantry Division - 'Tropic Lightning'
- USMC, or
- Task Force 117

You'll also have access to MACV approved support choices.

Fielding a Formation from the 1st Cavalry Division gives you 2 choices. You can field them as a Rifle Company, buying your Huey Slick transports seperately with no fire support choppers, or you can go all out and get your formation as an Air Cavalry Troop. This gives you access to both an OH-6 Loach Aeroscout platoon and a Gunship Aeroweapons platoon with the mighty AH-1 Cobra.

If you decide to choose the Blackhorse Cavalry, you have the option of running an M113 Armoured Cavalry troop, which has a HEAP of kit to choose from including Sheridan Tank Sections, M113 ACAV Sections, M48 Tank Sections, Zippo Platoons and artillery options. You also have the option here of simply taking an M48 Tank Company as well. Love me some Pattons....

If you don't want your FNG's ferried in by Huey, then choosing a Rifle Company from 'Tropic Lightning' is the way to go here. You've got access to your Rifle platoons and Scout platoons as well as Mortar firebases for some heavy support. An interesting note here, you are also able to purchase a single M48 Patton as an addition to you Rifle platoon, very cool! You can also run an M113 Troop here as well, much the same as the Blackhorse.

The USMC options here are your Marine Rifle Company or a Marine M48 Patton Company. Being Marines, these guys are just that little bit better in terms of Motivation than their Army compatriots. A cool addition here is the option to take the ONTOS Anti-tank platoon! 

And we can't forget the Brown Water Navy, now can we?! You have your River Assault Squad here, giving you access to Rifle platoons in ATC's, ASPB's, Monitors and Zippo Monitors.

In terms of support options, there is quite a lot to choose from here:

Medevac Choppers and Medics. This retains the Wounded rules from the previous Tour of Duty rules, which I think is a good addition into the new rules.

M42 Dusters for AA support.
PBR's get you some more fire support for the BWN.
A Pink Team consisting of a Loach and a Cobra.
Skyraiders and Skyhawks in Air Support.
Special Force Patrol - LRRPS time!

M101's, M114's, M108's M109's and OP Choppers giving you your heavy artillery.

The ARVN forces are very similar in organisation to the US forces. You have the option of choosing your formation from either:

- 1st Infantry Division
- Airborne Division
- 1st Cavalry Brigade, and 
- Marine Division

There is also the 20th Tank Regiment.

Infantry platoons are the name of the game here, but you also have access to Infantry Anti-tank platoons with 57mm recoilless guns. Similar to Tropic Lightning, you can also add an M48 to your infantry platoons. There is also an 81mm Mortar firebase.

Much the same as your infantry platoons, but with better motivation, the Airborne division are the elite ARVN choice. You also have an Airborne AT platoon and Mortars here as well. No option for the M48 though...

As with the Airborne, the 1st Cavalry Brigade is very similar to the Blackhorse. You have your M113 ACAV platoons, M125 and M106 Mortars and Zippos. You can also take a Walker Bulldog platoon in support.

As well, the 20th Tank Regiment allows you access to either a Walker Bulldog Tank Squadron or an M48 Tank Squadron.

 The River Tanks Force is much the same as the BWN here. ATC's with Marine Infantry Platoons to ferry them, ASPB's and Monitors are the choices for you.

ARVN support is, again, very much the same as the US support, although with less limited options. You only have Skyraiders, for example, instead of both Skyraiders and Skyhawks.

"I left my heart to the sappers 'round Khe Sanh." - Cold Chisel

Adding the Australian and New Zealand forces to the new 'Nam would have been an easy choice and can you imagine the uproar if they had have been left out!

If you're wanting to select an ANZAC force, your formation options are going to be:

- The Royal Australian Regiment
- The Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment
- The 1st Armoured Regiment, and 
- The 3rd Cavalry Regiment

You're taking an Australian Rifle company here and like their US counterparts, you get the option of taking a tank as an extra to the platoon. Rather than the M48 though, you get the mighty Centurion! You also have options to take Pioneer platoons.

There are a couple of subtle differences between the Aussies and the Kiwis in that the Kiwi Rifle platoons are better in Counterattacks (2+ instead of 3+) but they don't have the addition of a tank available to them.

The 1st Armoured Regiment is made up of Centurion Tank troops. These are monsters and have some pretty extreme firepower at their disposal. They also have an integral M113 patrol for anti-infantry support.

The 3rd Cavalry is your ACAV set-up for the ANZAC forces. M113 Cavalry troops as well as the option for M125 Mortar track and the M113 FSV platoon as well.

Support options for ANZAC forces will allow you to get a hold of both ANZAC and US support choices. 

MEDEVAC and Medics are here for you to add. You have 81mm Mortar and M101 firebases for artillery support. In the air, you get access to an OH-6 to act as OP for you.

The force selections you have for the PAVN forces are relatively straight forward. For your formations, you can choose:

- An Infantry regiment
- A Special Tasks Battalion
- Local Forces or
- An Armoured Regiment

In your Infantry regiment, you choose your infantry companies. You also have an MG platoon which you can opt to take as MG Bunkers! There are also options for 82mm Mortars, 75mm Recoilless Guns, 12.7mm AA platoons and Special Tasks.

Your Special Tasks Battalion will consist of Special Tasks companies and you can choose to add one of an MG platoon, 82mm Mortar platoon or 12.7mm AA platoon. You also get to add an infantry company and 82mm Recoilless gun.

Local Forces consists of Infantry companies and MG platoons, which you can swap out for bunkers. Your additional choices are Mortars, Recoilless Guns, AA or Special Tasks Companies.

To represent the Third Phase, you have access to three different types of Ironclad Regiments:

K-1 Ironclad Battalion consisting of K-1 Ironclad Companies. These are the Soviet T-34/85 tank of WWII. As part of the Battalion, you can also choose one of a K-2 or K-3 Ironclad company or a Mechanised Infantry Company. You also have an option for a ZSU-57-2 AA Company.

K-2 Ironclad Battalion has the same selections, swapping the selection of the K-2 option for a K-1 option. The K-2 is the Soviet T-54 tank (or it's Chinese copy, the T-59).

The K-3 Ironclad Battalion is again the same in structure. The K-3 is the Soviet PT-76 amphibious tank.

Mechanised infantry companies come equipped with the Soviet BTR-50PK APC.

PAVN support options are also pretty varied. You can choose:

- A Front Artillery Company with 130mm guns.
- A Front Jet-Artillery Company with 122mm rockets.
- An 82mm Recoilless Gun Company
- A 120mm Mortar Company
- A 14.5mm AA Company
- A 37mm AA Company, or
- Local Resistance teams.

Looking at the Missions, there are some differences to what you're used to seeing in FoW or TY. While taking and holding objectives still have their place in determining the winner of a mission, it doesn't actually hold that much value. Think about an LZ; once it's no longer useful, it's abandoned.

In 'Nam, victory is determined by Battle Points and you usually achieve these through body count. You score a Battle Point for:

- Each Unit Destroyed (excluding Independent Teams)
- 1 x M48 or Centurion Destroyed
- 2 x K-2 or ZSU-57-2 tanks Destroyed
- 3 x Other Tank Teams (Walker Bulldogs, K-1 etc) Destroyed.
- Each Chopper Destroyed
- Each Bunker or Nest Destroyed
- Each Objective Searched or Evacuated (in the appropriate mission)

There is a handy reference sheet in the book which you can photocopy and use.

This new means of determining the winner is pretty cool and definitely places some value back on you keeping your units alive and your expensive tanks and choppers out of danger.

There are also a number of new Special Rules, which we'll cover in the next article.

All in all, the new 'Nam volume really has reinvigorated me to get some more of my US Force painted ready to go so I can get some 'Nam games in!

Coinciding with this release, we'll be seeing a few new products come out.

For players with existing 'Nam forces, you'll be able to buy card packs to cover anything you've got. There are 4 of them in total covering the US, ANZAC, PAVN and ARVN forces.

There are also 3 new Army Deals ready to hit shelves soon too!

Ironclad Battalion: This contains 9 x K-2 (T-54) tanks in plastic and 2 x ZSU-57-2 tanks.

Airmobile Air Cavalry Troop: This has 2 x AH-1 Cobra, 2 x OH-6A Loach and 2 Huey Slicks, all in plastic, as well as 3 x MG teams.

Blackhorse Armoured Cavalry Troop: With 7 x M113 ACAV in plastic, 3 x M551 Sheridan's and 1 x M48A3 Patton.


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