TITLE: From the Delta to the DMZ: Battalion Level Wargames Rules for the Vietnam War
PUBLISHER: Gomi Designs
PUBLICATION DATE: 2013
WEB SITE/SUPPORT FORUM:
PRICE (with date): $18.00 (in 2013); PDF available for $13.
REVIEWED BY: Mark “Extra Crispy” Severin
PERIOD COVERED: The Vietnam War
This new printing by Gomi Designs runs 24 pages and includes three card stock spreads: QRS sheet; one game deck, one events deck, and a page of status markers to be cut out.
SCOPE: From the Delta to the DMZ (FDMZ) is aimed at battalion level engagements of the Vietnam War.
ARMY SIZE: Given the scale of the game, a company would probably require 9-12 stands with 2 or 3 figures per stand, depending on the scale of the miniatures used.
BASE UNIT: Each stand of figures represents a squad or comparably sized unit. Each model vehicle represents a platoon.
- Ground Scale: Not stated (ranges are noted as being deliberately distorted)
- Time scale 1 turn = 30 minutes
- Figure/Base Ratio: Not stated
- Recommended Figure Size: 15mm or smaller
- Table Size: None
- Game Length: Most games should be playable in one evening
FDMZ uses bases 30 x 30 mm for almost all teams. Headquarters are mounted on round bases for ease of ID. FOO and FAC stands are 15 x 20 mm.
FDMZ is a card driven game. As such there is no fixed game sequence. Instead, the game deck is shuffled and a card drawn. Each card allows for certain actions, such as moving, shooting or rallying. Upon drawing the card, the allotted actions are carried out, and then a new card drawn. When the End Deck card is drawn, the turn is over, and 30 minutes are considered to have elapsed.
A game deck consists of the following cards:
- Action Cards: Allows a platoon from the relevant side to move or shoot but not both.
- Command Cards: Allows the relevant side to perform rally and order changes.
- Fire Support Cards: Allows the relevant side to perform artillery or mortar fire.
- Event Card: Draw an event card from the event deck.
- Airpower Card: Airpower is called in and effects calculated.
- End Deck Option: Allows a side to end the deck and reshuffle.
- End Deck: Ends the turn. the deck is reshuffled
The Event Cards are:
- VC Special Movement: Allows a unit to redeploy up to 18”
- Net Down: Radio net is down for the remainder of the deck.
- Heavy Rain Starts: Visibility is cut and air power may not be called in
- Heavy Rain Stops
- Bobby Trap: The VC player may target one enemy platoon for attack
- Medevac: Units marked with dustoff counters are removed from play.
- Leader Card: Sides dice off with the winner nominating one leader unit to gain a +1 for rally and assaults.
The Orders System: FDMZ uses a “Command Arrow” orders system. Using a map of the battlefield an arrow is drawn for each company that intends to move. The HQ must move each turn along the indicated path. Units with hold orders do not have a Command Arrow. The four possible orders are: Attack, Patrol, Hold or Withdraw.
Movement: The use of the Command Arrow forces each company to maneuver toward a given objective. The HQ moves along the arrow - individual units may move freely so long as they remain within command radius (CR). CR is typically 6” for platoon and 12” for companies.
Foot speed is 6” per turn. Units may freely pivot and turn at no extra cost. Terrain costs are generally half speed. Roads confer a 50% bonus. Wire causes delays based on unit type (Special Forces ignore it completely).
Visibility: Limited visibility is one of the defining characteristics of combat in Vietnam. Visibility in FDMZ is by die roll. Units may always see 6”. To see further a D10 is rolled and added to the base visibility. The result is the visibility limit for that unit for that turn. Visibility is rerolled every turn. If an enemy unit is spotted by one stand in a unit, all friendly stands within Command Range can see the enemy.
Units in cover that have not moved or fired may not be spotted unless the spotter moves into contact with the covering terrain.
Fire Combat: Each unit has a Class Factor (CF) from 1 (best) to 5 (worst). Each CF has an associated Fire Factor. This Fire Factor is modified for cover, ambush fire, being pinned, etc. A D6 is rolled and the final Fire Factor added. The target is pinned on a 5 or 6, suppressed on a 7 or 8 and destroyed on a 9+. A suppressed unit receiving a second suppression is destroyed.
Note that Fire Combat “Pin” effects are not cumulative. A pinned unit receiving additional pin results is still simply pinned.
Most units will have a Fire factor of 1 or 2 which means outright kills will be rare. A unit with a FF of 2 even rolling a 6 still needs a helpful modifier to score a kill. Given the prevalence of cover, kills will most often result from multiple suppressions. Elite units, however, have a FF of 3 and score an outright kill with a 6. Deadly indeed.
Morale: Based on the unit’s class factor, a unit may rally from being pinned or suppressed. A D10 is rolled, appropriate modifiers added and the Rally Table consulted. Units that successfully rally remove all pinned and suppressed markers and operate as normal.
The VC must also make a company morale check when they have suffered 50% killed, suppressed or pinned. If they fail the company is immediately removed from play, the troops having “melted into the jungle.”
To call in fire support a stand must make a successful call. Each type of stand has a target number to equal or exceed on a D6. A US FOO, for example, is successful on a 2 or better. If the roll is successful the effects of the fire are calculated (the single roll represents not just contacting, but spotting and adjusting prior to Fire For Effect). There is no template used. Instead a single enemy stand is targeted. More powerful weapons may also target up to 2 stands within 2” of the original target stand.
Depending on the weapon firing, up to three D6 will be rolled on the Fire Table. Depending on weapon type and cover, hits are scored. A light mortar, for example, scores a hit on a target in the open on a 5 or 6.
Fire Support hits ARE cumulative. In this case 2 pins = suppression and a second suppression is a kill. Thus an artillery battery rolling 3 dice may score an out right kill. The first hit pins the target, the second pin causes suppression and the third results in a kill.
If friendly stands are within 2” of the target they must check for “Friendly Fire.” three D6 are rolled with hits being inflicted on a 6. Every friendly stand must be so checked.
In addition to bombardment, Fire Support may also call in smokre (1 or 2 stands depending on the type of artillery) or starlight shells (aids visibility during night turns).
Close Assault: In Close Assault each stand has a Close Assault factor based on its CF. The factor is modified for terrain, situation, etc. and a D6 is rolled. The resulting totals are compared. Losing stands fall back and are pinned. If a stand rolls double its opponent, the losing stand is destroyed. Up to two friendly stands within 2” may be used in support. The player adds +1 to his die roll for each such supporting stand.
Airpower: The US player rolls a D6 modified for Mission Priority. The result is the number of air strikes he may call. On a Command Card the US player may raise his target priority at a cost in Victory Points.
Airpower works exactly like Fire Support. A roll is made to successfully call and guide the strike. A failed roll means the air strike is not available. Either rockets or napalm may be called. Dice a re rolled and hits scored exactly like fire support.
Medevac: When a US stand is destroyed a D6 is rolled. On a 5 or 6 it has wounded requiring Medevac. It is marked with a counter, and moved 6” to await dustoff. If contacted by an enemy stand it is destroyed. It may not move or fire again. When the Dustoff card is turned over, all marked stands are removed from play. If the VC player has a stand within 6” of the dust off he may cause it to be aborted by rolling a 6 on a D6. In that case the US tand must wait for the next Dustoff card.
FDMZ includes a number of optional rules for:
- Arms Caches
- Tunnel Complexes
- Free Fire Zones
- Mortar Locating Radar
- Night Fighting
- Digging In
- Broken Arrow
The rule book includes one sample scenario - Search and Destroy. Also included are brief TO&E charts for VC Main Force Battalion, Regular NVA Battalion, NVA Sapper Battalion and US Rifle Battalion.