Sunday, December 20, 2015

Charle Company Rules

Last night I played this rules last night with the regular crew from Anton's wargame blog.  Being a Vietnam veteran I was asked to play the VC.  Being old a treacherous  with knowledge of how the VC operated I was yes.  

Here is the basic idea game is below.

Charlie Company – A set of rules to game Vietnam on a tabletop with miniatures!
The players are all American NCOs and officers “in country”; the referee designs each scenario and controls the hidden forces of the NVA/VC enemy. This makes Charlie Company a unique tabletop miniatures game, for a substantial amount of role-playing is involved; you will have a figure on the tabletop that is you – 100%. You can’t even talk to the other players unless your figure is in a position to do so! You have to survive twelve missions (12 months game time) to complete your tour and rotate home.
The question: What is winning?
A: Defeating your enemy
B: Surviving your tour of duty?
The choice is yours. Charlie Company is unique in the fact that you must balance the achievement of your short term goals – defeating the VC – with your ultimate objective – lasting until your DEROS date comes up and you (your miniature at any rate) can hop that freedom bird back to the world.
In most other miniature battle simulations, players are in a contest with one another and the miniatures do the dying – a certain detachment is achieved and artificial morale rules are required to represent your men’s sense of self preservation.
Charlie Company places you – the player – virtually on the tabletop, in harms way, so to speak. The other players are with you on the table, facing the enemy. You must co-operate together, execute and follow mission planning and orders to win and survive – good luck, have fun and get some!
“The enemy may be operating from the delusion that political pressure combined with the tactical defeat of a major military unit might force the US to throw in the towel” – Gen. William C. Westmoreland. November 1967
Nine Rules for Personnel of US Military Assistance Command, Vietnam
     The Vietnamese have paid a heavy price for their long fight against the Communists. We military men are in Vietnam now because their government has asked us to help its soldiers and people in winning their struggle. The Vietcong will attempt to turn the people against you. You can defeat them at every turn by the strength, understanding and generosity you display with the people. Here are nine simple rules:
1.    Remember we are guests here. We make no special demands and seek no special treatment.
2.    Join with the people! Understand their life, use phrases from their customs and laws.
3.    Treat women with kindness and respect.
4.    Make personal friends among the soldiers and common people.
5.    Always give the Vietnamese the right of way.
6.    Be alert and ready to react with your military skill.
7.    Don’t attract attention by loud, rude or unusual behavior.
8.    Avoid separating yourself from the people by a display of wealth or privilege.
9.    Above all else you are a member of the US Military Forces on a difficult mission, responsible for all your official and personal actions. Reflect honor upon yourself and the United States of America.

 Needless to say the American players broke every rule listed above.  They hammered the surrounding countryside is mortar fire.   Recon by fire on everything.  They should of ran out of ammo.  No fire control.   One of the player who just return form Afghanistan who was a platoon kept tell them don't do that.  You will get shot! Was the only player being in control of his troops.   He use sound tactics. But he may one mistake.  The M48 driver was buttoned up in tank.  In order to get attention to fire on target.  Sarge waved his arm and pointed to the target.   That was his only mistake of the game. The VC sniper said to himself.   That guy must be important.  Sarge got hit.  Lucky for him it wasn't serious. 

The game major objective was to run a truck convoy across the broad.  The trucks moved well over ten inches a turn.  4 turns they could of been off the game broad.  The VC objective was to destroy as many trucks as possible.   They ended up taking out three of the 8 truck, 7 kias, 5 wounds G.I's.   Not sure if  I made enough points to have  victory of not.    The VC lost 20 KIA, 20 wounded.  Their job was to hit hard and run.  

 In the end the players turn the villagers  against Americans.  So any a convoy ran down highway one.  They would be taking a lot of fire.  So much for hearts and minds.   Check out Antons blog is the future.   As pictures of the battle will be posted in all of it glory.

All in all is was a fun night of gaming.


  1. The Rulebook does have that exact list, in the player's defense, I as GM am to blame for that. Charlie Company is meant as more of an RPG experience than an orthodox tabletop game, and lack of preparation on my part was the deciding factor for the shortfalls in the game. The Miniatures were all painted in the week leading up to the game, and the rules were learned friday evening and saturday morning. I'm sure that I got a few things wrong, and had I need a little more prepared, the gaming experience would have been enhanced. By way of example, I didn't stick hard and fast to the cover rules, as I had blurted out #'s of dice to roll before me brain had time to work. Anton put it best in that I had the feeling of "herding cats through a lava field".
    As for the more Specific concerns:
    Tank: while there is no provision for using periscopes in the game, Buttoned up tanks have their experience rating halved. this number is used to spot things, that # or less on a D10. the tank crew was as Green as Green gets, with a base of 3. this was halved for the whole game, as they stayed bottomed up. they literally saw nothing all game. against unspotted enemies, all fire is halved. I sadly did not catch that until halfway through the game
    Recon by fire: This was my bad, big time. There actually isn't a mechanism for this in the game, I was thinking of a different ruleset. the way it is supposed to work is "recon by fire" is basically once a US unit takes fire from a unspotted enemy, they can shoot back thataways but their firepower is basically quartered. if the figures are on the table (one american squad has spotted the enemy) the others now fire at half effect, basically they see where the other guys are shooting and shoot there.

    1. AMMO: there are ammo rules for non rifle/mg weapons, but for our 1st game I didn't want to do that. I may use ammo in future scenarios when I have more Hueys to ferry in supplies. Of course, Mr Charles will have more fun tricks to oppose this... *cackle cackle evil laugh*
      special rounds for M-79: let me preface this by saying I wasn't there, so I don't know what was ACTUALLY going on. My mother and father were born in 68. The issue is that it is in the book, and i'm not sure if it is just there for game balance reasons. without the flechette rounds, the american squad can fire (average, as I have to roll before game to see how understrength the US squads are) 10 dice for 8 men. Mr. Charles can reply, if armed with AK47, NVA/ hardcore VC w/AK squad: 13 or more dice for 9 men, and a few less for SKS type weapons. this is before any modifiers, which the Vietnamiese usually get the better end of that stick. Again, I don't know why they are in there, if they actually meant Buckshot when they said flechette, if it is there for game balance, if the particular Veterans that were involved in the making of the game had some, or just if one of the civilian game developers read a TO&E that said they had it, when all it was is a paper trail. As far as that goes, I think I will keep them in the game until there is a big issue with them, as 1d6 worth of fire isn't worth (to my mind) giving the american players the feeling of being shortchanged in that area. They ARE going to get the short end of the stick in most games that I run.
      Mortars: yes I agree that they were poorly used. they were just blasting empty jungle turn after turn, but I don't think there was much of a good opportunity to use them in this scenario. by the time effective fire was called in, the VC had melted away or the US Infantry had dealt with the problem. I am not sure why smoke was not used to cover the advance into the village.
      Victory: Now that is complicated. I'm going to call it an American Military victory, with a Vietnamese political victory. there were enough tucks getting off the table to get some supplied to the next firebase, but damage was incurred and the Americans sustained quite a few casualties for an "routine" mission. that with the American actions will result in a media coup for the VC. Thats my take. Sadly the drug issues in the Battalion continue to go unresolved... that will have to be another game.