Friday 15 January 2010

Memoir 44 in Vietnam

Memoir 44 is a very elastically scaled game in that the various units can represent anything from platoon level upwards. The combat system copes with this very well and so the operational scale distinctions are largely irrelevant. This is also fine and is an easy trade off for the fluidity of the game system as a whole. However, for the Vietnam project I want to take this down a notch so that a smaller scale of action was more readily identifiable. Instead of only using infantry, armour and artillery I want to bring in HMGs, Mortars and Infantry anti tank weaponry. The rationale for this is that it will give a more tactical feel for a lower level game. I am circulating ideas at the moment and am thinking along the lines of having HMG, Mortar and Infantry Anti Tank ‘units’ represented by two models (similar to artillery in the standard game). HMGs will fire the same as infantry (3, 2 or 1 combat dice dependent on range) but will additionally count tanks rolled as a hit when engaging infantry only. I am also considering allowing them to ‘split’ fire – breaking down the number of dice rolled twixt hexes so, for example, at a range of two they could use one dice in one hex and the other in an adjacent hex – as long as the fire is at the same range. Mortars will be the same as artillery for all intents and purposes. Infantry anti tank weapons will probably move like infantry and fire like armour. A further twist on this will be that support weapons can be attached to infantry units and will follow the parent formations orders. I am unsure yet how to work this and will need to give it some thought as it was routine certainly to parcel out HMGs to individual platoons and sections – similarly with the anti tank troops. I am unsure if this was widely practised with mortars though. Minefields will cover the inevitable booby traps as well as their more conventional usage. Artillery will be off board and I will need to consider the use of choppers and how air strikes will work. A further consideration is the question of command. I want to have command groups on the board with an actual function. There will be tactical bonuses for using the command group and also penalties should it be destroyed. Again, I need to think about how best this could be worked. As a bonus, and ignoring the post 1945 hardware, means the resultant variant could be easily used for WW2 enable games pitched at a similar level.

I am a great fan of the whole Command and Colours concept as used in Memoir 44 and I always believe that it is the mark of a skilled rules designer that if the core system is robust enough then it can handle any amount of judicious ‘tinkering’ without too many dramas.

In the meantime though, I will need to get some reading in to (re)acquaint myself with the war that seemed to be always on the TV when I was a boy back in the 60’s and early 70’s.


Paul O'G said...

I really like the C&C system too. I have the ancients and fantasy versions too, but prefer Mem'44 to be honest.

As you say, the system is robust enough to adapt to almost any gaming genre, and what youve outlined for Nam sounds very good.

You could us the para rules to repesent helo insertions (not as fun though I admit) and the Air Pack additionds for fast air are really good too.

As for inspiration, you have Platoon, Hamburger Hill, Full Metal Jacket and I'm still looking for a copy of the series Tour of Duty

David Crook said...

Its still in the head scratching stage but certainly is very do-able. Good idea re the air rules - I have the pack but have yet to use it - strange choice of models though! I dont know but paradrops may be a little on the random side but it is certainly worth considering.

I must try and source a copy of 'The Odd Angry Shot' as well as this is such a great 'Nam film.

Paul O'G said...

Maybe a less random and risky version of the para drop rules perhaps.

Indeed a great movie, an Aussie classic - I'll keep a eye out for you!

David Crook said...

Cheers old boy! Bang on re the use of choppers and can I assume that the Man Cave Brewery will be at full capacity for the forthcoming Australia Day?