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"Two Brothers Fight #21" Topic


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Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP20 Apr 2021 8:37 p.m. PST

All,

1500 Local Time
16 July 1966
Ngan Valley, Quang Tri Province, RVN
Operation Hastings

The boys are with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment (K/3/4), on their first trip up to the DMZ. Yesterday they were helo'ed into the area, then found themselves in a sharp firefight trying to cross the Ngan River which saw them repulsed with two Marines badly wounded. The Company tried twice more to cross the river, but the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regulars of the 90th Regiment threw them back both times. Kilo Company then fell back approximately 200 meters to the north and dug in, but the NVA pursued them, harassing with mortars and snipers, and by 1930 Kilo's commander reported to battalion that the company was entirely surrounded. At approximately 2015 the NVA launched a full-scale assault on Kilo Company's hilltop, which the Marines threw back owing to some brutal close-in fighting buttressed by supporting fires, with both sides suffering significant casualties.

The Marines of Kilo Company pried themselves out of their holes with the sunrise, and were greeted with an NVA mortar barrage for their efforts. It didn't last long and there were few casualties, so the rifle company got itself in order and not long after was back on the move, proving south towards the Ngan River. There was good news in that 2/4 had been told to hustle up and move west with all practical speed in order to effect a linkup with 3/4, owing to the tough resistance the Marines were running into, and radio traffic reported that 2/4 arrived at LZ Crowe* at approximately 1400. So there was a strong base behind Kilo Company, to the north, but it kind of left Kilo as the lone, dangling appendage to the south, still under orders to find and force a crossing to the south side of the Ngan River.

Needless to say the Marines were none too happy to be flung out so far to the south, without support, to an area they'd already gotten a good bloodying in, but order are orders, and so we catch up with Sergeant Little and his squad about to make another attempt to cross the Ngan River.

*With three helos already grounded there from damage caused by collisions, then the NVA shot down a Marine CH-46 yesterday evening, the LZ Crowe area was now being referred to as "Helicopter Valley."

picture

Overview, north is left, for my second big DMZ map. The western area (bottom) is pretty open and flat, a couple spare trees and scrub, the Ngan River is narrow and shallow and flowing in a southwest to easterly direction, but the big deals are the two hills, the massive Hill 212 dominating the north (left to top left) and Hill 104 on the south bank, in the southeast (top right).

picture

Sergeant Rob Little leads his squad towards the Ngan River (right top), looking to get across while avoiding any contact with the NVA, hugging the base of Hill 212 (left), Hill 104 looming ominously across the river (top center right). Sergeant Little (bottom left) called the squad to a halt and had them pull security; behind them (off map to bottom left), the rest of the platoon halted as well. Rob called his fireteams over and explained his plan: "we're not walking into a mess like we did yesterday, and I know that hill across the river's gotta be housing some NVA on it, so you guys sit tight, Jackson and I are gonna hustle up front and put some arty on the hill."

picture

They (bottom left) get in behind some scrub and raise supporting arty on the radio; Jackson spent a couple minutes providing the data to the battery, then called out "spotting round on the way, shot out!"

"Splash!" "Splash, out," replied the battery. "You're dead on, fire for effect!" (you can see the cotton 'blast' atop the hill at top center)

picture

Danny's 2nd Fireteam nears the river (center, with Cpl Benavides' 1st Fireteam off camera to left), the freshly cratered Hill 104 still looming ominously across the river…

picture

And the mid-afternoon stillness is shattered by the NVA squad on the south bank of the Ngan River opening fire at point-blank range on Danny and 2nd Fireteam…

picture

Correa is still in shock (center right) as Doc dashes up to him, while Jackson (bottom left) gets on the radio, trying to get that arty support back on the hook!

picture

Worn out Marines catch a quick breather. Sorry, I just like the closeup of the figures, great sculpts from Jimmi at Flashpoint.

It's gonna be another long day for the jarheads. To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
link

Only three more fights left in the boys' first tour, next one coming soon.

V/R,
Jack

Bismarck21 Apr 2021 10:30 a.m. PST

Jack,
This one read like a monograph straight out of the USMC
Historical Division! Without mentioning it in prose, the
table definitely gave the reader a good impression of how
vulnerable the Marines felt in open ground. Elephant grass
does give some concealment, but sure does not stop rounds.

Yes, your photography did a great job in showing the
steep contours and elevation. You could recognize this
scenario like it came right off the map.

I've always been impressed how close to actual historical
actions your games have been. Great blend of gaming and
actual fact.

As to dice rolling, hey, it's just an accurate depiction
of Marine marksmanship. :-). Thank heaven for those good
rolls. You mentioned on an earlier post, that you didn't know if the brothers would survive if you did Buffalo.
These past two battles along with some earlier close calls
is proof in point.

Again, an impressive wonderful piece of work, both the figures(great paint job shown in the close up),terrain
and a great AAR to enjoy reading. These all have seemed
like a darn good war novel.

Looking forward to the next episodes and as they become
short timers hoping they all come through.

Thanks for sharing another great job.

Sam

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP21 Apr 2021 6:43 p.m. PST

Sam,

You're too kind, thanks man, glad it went down well.

I've done my best to tie these fights into real life fights, but sort of in parallel to them rather than recreations of them, seems like it's working. And I'm glad you like the table, I'm pretty proud of how I got the setup to look.

"As to dice rolling, hey, it's just an accurate depiction
of Marine marksmanship. :-)"
Amen, brother! ;)

"You mentioned on an earlier post, that you didn't know if the brothers would survive if you did Buffalo. These past two battles along with some earlier close calls is proof in point."
Yeah, it's really bringing it home, the units are just shells of their former selves, replacements flowing in and right back out so fast you don't even get to know their names. I don't know how you guys did it, Sam.

It's my pleasure, and thanks so much for the discussions we've had.

V/R,
Jack

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