FNG OPS Campaign – 11th Sept (pt1)

11th Sept

Heavy rain greeted the troops of Bravo Company. A mixed squad of 1st Squad and the platoon command went out on perimeter patrol.

Table set up

Table set up

The Americans have to clear 2 PEF (Potential Enemy Forces), randomly placed on the table in sector 1 and 5 (Top left and middle right).

American's patrolling

American's patrolling

American's patrolling

In the early few turns the Americans activate and move towards the nearest PEF. This PEF moves off towards the middle of the table and the Americans chase after it resolving that it is actually nothing.

Chasing to catch up to the PEF

Unfortunately the chase has taken the platoon commander close to the second PEF which is resolved to be a 3 man Local force VC cell. Even worse, two of the three men are REP 5’s and the LT goes down hit twice by the enemy.

LT goes down

The VC spring the ambush

The US troops manouvre into line to push forward triggering a firefight which they are on the losing side.

Firefight

Three more of their number go down while one of the VC is knocked down and another ducks back when his SKS jams.

American casualties pile up

Another round of firing knocks the VC leader down too, and the US advance to take two prisoners while the medic tries to save those wounded who haven’t already bled out. Unfortunately several of the wounds are too serious for him to do anything. 6 Casualties out of ten men, with 4 KIA, 1 Light wound, 1 Heavy wound. Not a good day! I’m beginning to think that more than 1 squad needs to be sent on patrols together.

Results of the patrol

FNG OPS Campaign – 10th Sept

10th Sept

2nd Platoon air assaulted into the LZ outside the village of Gi Lang (2864) in light rain, responding to intel that placed a Communist Rally taking place there. Maybe there was or maybe the rally leaders slipped away in the bad weather but by the time 2nd Platoon got there the only enemy who wanted to engage with them were content to pot shot a few long range rifle rounds and then skedaddle. The afternoon was spent cowering under ponchos the light rain building to monsoon levels, grounding all aircraft and changing the plans for the Platoon to be airlifted back to the FSB. The men were grateful for the extra supplies they’d carried in knowing they’d now be out for at least the night.

The platoon settled into ambush positions before dark. It wasn’t long before 1st Squad had movement to their front. The platoon command element had chosen those moments to check on their positions so were on hand to watch what unfolded (fortuitously as it turned out!)

Table set up

The squad were deployed in a patch of single canopy jungle overlooking paddy fields and the outskirts of the village. The NVA squad were picking their way along a paddy dike, the column stretching back into some triple canopy jungle the other side of the stream. Unfortunately the American claymore had been set up pointing directly away from the patrol towards the village and thus would be no help.

American ambush positions

The NVA approached carefully, watchful for any sign of Americans knowing they had been in the area earlier. They didn’t spot the ambush though, the first rounds sending one of their number scurrying for cover over the paddy dike, another tumbling to the ground hit by the Americans bullets but the others were untouched and able to return fire. The firefight was brief and ineffective, ending with several out of ammo combattants. Further attempts to fire at each other resulted in the NVA squad leader breaking and running while two of the Americans were hit and went down hard. The most significant problem for the ambushers was that half the NVA had yet to leave the jungle and were in fact moving round to flank the ambush positions. Realising the danger the platoon command moved in that direction sending the medic to aid one of the fallen men while the M60 cleared its jam and took down another enemy in the paddy. An attempt to call for help on the radio recieved nothing but static in reply.

NVA start flanking

As the Lt and radioman got to the flank, the vietnamese were streaming across the jungle. In a frantic burst of fire the radioman nailed one crossing the stream, while the Lt firing wildly came close but ultimately missed or the rounds hit equipment not flesh.

Plt command make a stand

With the NVA lmg temporarily out of ammo in the paddy, the M60 team pulled back blowing the claymore to prevent it being found and reused by the enemy. Things were desperate for the Americans and then salvation! Their call on the radio had been heard, and a barrage of medium artillery rounds was ready to fire, waiting only for the coordinates. In some inspired mapreading, the Lt gave the directions and fell back with the RTO to where the medic had dragged the badly wounded casualty. The other casualty was also being tended by the squad leader when the artillery rounds fell. The first was close to the American’s position showering them with debris but causing no casualties. The second disappeared into the night, exploding in the jungle across the stream. The final round landed amongst the charging NVA and all of them went down.

Danger Close!

Artillery takes effect

The remaining NVA in the paddy carefully picked up their fallen comrades and carried them off into the night leaving no trace of their existence except a handful of spent cartridge cases.

NVA in the paddy

Bodies in the paddy.

The Americans called in a Medevac chopper to exfil their wounded and the enemy casualties. 2 wounded NVA were captured and sent back to be patched up and interrogated, while 4 bodies were recovered and quickly buried. It had been a successful night.

FNG OPS Campaign – 9th Sept

9th Sept

Captain Warren Barnes sat back in his chair. Another evening of writing reports and letters back to families bereaved of their sons, fathers, brothers. What was there to show for it? All in all it was meant to be a quiet day, most of the company recouping from their efforts over the past week. Only the men of the battery toiled under the cloudy but dry sky, continuing to dig in their guns and create the basic artillery positions that would allow them to fire in support of the grunts in the field. Only two patrols went out, Barnes concerned that in the recent operations further afield, the perimeter had been neglected and close security was lacking.

The first patrol, the five men from 2nd Squad, 1st Plt called back into the firebase that all was well mid morning. But shortly after the firebase stirred as the sound of a flurry of shots rang out.

Table set up

The eight men of 3rd Squad, 1st Plt were on their way back to the firebase their morning patrol having been uneventful. Perhaps attention levels were slipping, perhaps fatigue was setting in, whatever the reason when the patrol entered into an area of paddy fields they failed to notice the three NVA sappers who lurked in the scrub some distance away. The Vietnamese however were fully aware of the approaching patrol and in a well timed ambush their fusilade of shots dropped three GI’s. A fourth attempted to react by firing back but all he succeeded in drawing more return fire which again hit home. The rest of the squad reacted by diving for cover.

Results of the ambush

View across the paddy to the ambush position

Another three sappers heard the firing, and began moving to take up their own ambush positions. It would take them some time to do, but once there they were in perfect position to enfilade any movement of the US troops towards their initial ambushers position.

An early activation allowed the US troops still capable of moving to check their casualties, turning over the chits revealed 2 wounded and two dead outright. The closest crawled over to perform some first aid while the M60 team crawled up the paddy dyke to try to get some payback. The movement drew fire from the Vietnamese but the shots sailed high, giving away the enemy positions. A sustained burst silenced the incoming fire but who knew if the shots had found their marks? The experience of the squad leader showed as he stabilised the man he was working on, stopping the bleeding and saving his life.

Results of the ambush (chits revealed)

A series of turns saw no American activation as the wounded dice ticked down while the vietnamese continued to move around and fire with no effect at the M60 team, drawing repeated bursts in return.

And then the squad leader remembered the radio. At the same time as he was trying to get through, the men of 2nd Squad appeared close by. Having heard the firing they had moved to support their comrades. Bringing their own radio they were able to call in a mortar strike on the area where the Vietnamese were lurking. The wounded GI is finally patched up, perilously close to bleeding out.

Reinforcements arrive

NVA move into a new ambush position

Standing up to see if they could assess the effectiveness of the mortar strike, the survivors of 3rd squad trigger the ambush from the second NVA team. Hit 3 times, the squad leader is miraculously merely knocked down while the blooper man ignores the hail of bullets sent in his direction and sends a 40mm into the trees, the NVA are untouched but unnerved by the heavier weapon and decide to break contact especially as they can see the reinforcements starting to move out. The arrival of mortar rounds close to the initial ambushers convinces them to move out too.

Mortar rounds land

After a cursory search for enemy bodies, the disconsolate Americans carry their dead and wounded home and wonder what they have to do to kill their opponents.

(Game fought with 28mm TAG figures, homemade terrain using plastic aquarium plants and Palm trees, Last Valley trees and a mix of FNG v1 , FNG:2nd Tour and my own house rules & amendments).

FNG OPS Amendments

I’ve been working on a list of amendments or clarifications for the excellent OPS system written by my friend Darby. The rules themselves are sound however I found a few areas [Read more…]

FNG OPS Campaign – 8th Sept

8th Sept

The replacements getting off the truck looked at the haggard faces around them and wondered what they were getting into. The firebase was still little more than a collection of muddy foxholes, men of the artillery battery trying to finish off the Basic Ammo and Supply bunker before the rain began again. Before the new draft had even had chance to be assigned to squads an even more sombre omen took their attention when a party carried a sagging body bag out to the waiting medevac chopper.

Once all the morning admin had been done, the men of 2nd and 3rd squads, 3rd Platoon saddled up and went out on ambush patrol in sector 2861. A likely trail hugging a stream was staked out and it wasn’t long before the enemy were spotted.

Table set up

US Ambush Position

The Main Force VC moved cautiously down the stream bed, a scout leading. As he reached the little ford where the trail met the stream, a fusilade of shots from the US positions spun him to the ground wounded. The rest of the VC dropped to the floor, unable to see where the firing was coming from. Since only 2nd Squad was engaged, 3rd Squad started moving around to try to get a piece of the action.

US Moving through the grass.

With the wounded man screaming, the VC pushed forward another couple of men who were again spotted and fired upon. This time some poor shooting made one of them duck back from the LMG rounds and the other was knocked down from a near miss.

VC position.

More VC ran forward, moving fast to try to cross the gap in the trees. Another fusilade of shots greeted their movement and another VC went down wounded although one of them made it across the gap. The US were having a whale of time, all the previous days of pain and losses were finally paying off, they had Charlie right where they wanted him.

With no reinforcements for the VC nor any heavy weapons and faced with a dug in enemy in good positions across a wide open killing ground and two casualties, the VC began to try to recover their wounded with a mind to breaking contact. Medic checks stabilised momentarily one of the casualties but the other immediately died. Another burst of firing as the duck back VC is wounded as well, and its all over, the VC are dragging their dead and wounded away, depriving the US of any body count. The US slip out of their positions and return to the FSB fully satisfied in a job well done.

VC bodies in the stream.

Back in the FSB the rest of the Company were able to take some time to rest, clean weapons and write letters. The light rain continued to fall but air operations were possible and two missions were slated. The first, an aerial recon flight gained no intelligence from its flight over sectors 3062 and 2962.

The second was a resounding success. A hunter killer team consisting of a Loach and two Hogs over flew a line of sectors to the East of the FSB. In the first they saw nothing of note, but the second they destroyed a suspect Sampan on the river, in the third they found troops in the open, possibly forming for a probe on the Firebase itself that evening. With rockets and gunfire they scattered the enemy troops, counting 11 dead enemy bodies before they flew on. In the last sector they destroyed several camp structures in the jungle before their ammunition ran out and they had to turn for home.

FNG OPS Campaign – 6th-7th Sept

6th Sept

Back at FSB Stamford the men of Bravo Company cleaned their weapons, their equipment and themselves. For five days they’d been in the field and this day had been their bloodiest. 7 dead and 2 wounded from 1st platoon. A crashed Huey and a desperate rescue mission. It was a day few of them would forget.

The day had begun cloudy, the operation drawing to a close and the choppers lifted them out with no contact in the morning. Only when they’d got back to base did the loss of the Huey become apparent. There were only enough birds remaining to fly second platoon back to find them and when they got there they found the enemy was there in force. A vicious firefight with the survivors holding out just about till their comrades arrived and all but the dead flight crew recovered.

7th Sept

With early morning rain hammering the tents of the FSB, Bravo’s Co opted for an easy morning. The work on the Basic Supply & Ammo Bunker was continued by the men of the battery, while 1st Squad, 2nd Platoon conducted a perimeter patrol. The rest of the men of Bravo stayed in their cots, getting as much rest as possible to recover from the past weeks’ labours. Their rest was interrupted by frantic radio calls from the patrol. A sniper had taken several shots at them, seriously wounding their blooper man. As the medic rushed out to their position however, the man bled out and an hour later they returned carrying his body in a poncho. A Medevac was waiting to greet them and the KIA was evacuated.

In the afternoon, the rain had slackened, so a Search and Destroy mission was slated for 2nd Platoon into Batti, the village directly to the East of the FSB, the suspected location for the VC sniper that had hit the patrol earlier in the day.

The contact roll dictated that a cache had been uncovered, so I told the VC player that he would have to plot a cache on table.

The plan was pretty simple for the US, advance over the paddy fields to the village, herd the villagers into the central pig pen and do some interrogating to see if we can figure out who’s VC.

Table set up.

US forces spread out in the paddy fields.

Unfortunately, the plan like most didn’t really survive first contact. A burst of fire from the village kills the squad leader, wounds a rifleman and and causes another to duck back all from 2nd Squad. Return fire knocks down and pins the NVA troops

US Casualties.

NVA knocked down.

The platoon Lt decides that the position he’s in is going to cost him far too many casualties if he presses on without dealing with the NVA. Radioing back to the FSB he calls in artillery on the hooch the fire is coming from. Rather than call a spotting round, he calls for four rounds of HE which arrive next turn. Unfortunately, the first sounds of firing have sent the villagers for their homes and the artillery lands amongst them. One round is short of the hooch, one lands smack on it and two are long, impacting into the village. When the smoke clears, several of the NVA are dead, but so too are two of the villagers with another screaming and missing body parts.

With the firing temporarily stopped, the platoon moves forward towards the village again, only to take LMG fire from another hooch on the left flank and also more from the hooch to the front. More artillery is called for, completely demolishing the hooch and killing several of the NVA.

US forces advancing.

Hooch firing on the flank of the US.

Heavy return fire kills the gunner and first squad starts to flank the hooch, getting their M60 into position to cover the door. The VC hiding in the hooch and the pen start to exit out of the back, but the US rush in through the door. One VC is killed outside the window, another throws a grenade through the window of the hooch, but the grunts hit the ground and the only casualty is the civilian who’d been trapped in there by the firing.

VC fighting to hold the hooch

M60 team able to fire on the hooch and down the side.

Back in the village the NVA squad are moving back, taking up a position where they can ambush the US once again, but realising that they are going to be heavily outnumbered and that the villagers are highly unlikely to want to cooperate with the US after the artillery strike, so they slip off and live to fight another day.

NVA moving through the village.

Final tally, US 2 KIA, 1 WIA
VC 1 KIA, 2 WIA
NVA 5 KIA, 2 WIA
Civilians 4 KIA, 2 WIA

FNG OPS Campaign – 5th Sept

5th Sept

The men of Bravo Company rose from their overnight positions before dawn, two flights of Hueys bringing in much needed ammo, water and chow. As the clatter of the rotors diminished the troops began to start moving into platoon ambush positions. Mist and light rain surrounded them as they split into 4 main ambush positions and waited for Charles to show himself. They didn’t have long to wait.

Contact was made when two squads of the VC Main Force ran into the 3rd platoon’s position. Unfortunately for the American’s, the first fusillade of shots was about the only bright point of the whole action. Spotting the enemy point man at long range, two members of 3rd Squad opened fire, the scout going down bleeding heavily in the middle of the trail. The rest of the VC scattered into the jungle either side of the trail and began working their way forward.

As they moved, further members of 3rd Squad spotted them and opened fire, but the return fire from one of the VC’s Kalashnikov was accurate and a rifleman went down, killed outright and another went down wounded. The platoon commander sent the medic to start treating the wounded man as the 3rd Squad tried to get their M60 into a position to start firing.

1st Squad in the meantime sat and watched tracer fire crisscross their front and waited in vain for the enemy to move into range of the claymore they’d so carefully positioned which was meant to trigger the ambush.

The VC continued filtering through the jungle, their second squad interpenetrating the first and an RPG is sent flying across the paddy fields, falling short of the 3rd Squad positions but close to the so far hidden platoon commander and his RTO. Continued small arms fire into the 3rd Squad position keeps their heads down and prevents them from laying any effective fire at all at the enemy and then suddenly the M60 gunner is shot through the head as he pokes above the paddy dike he’d crawled along to get into a better firing position. Now the US have three men down and the enemy are proving increasingly confident and elusive.

Finally, 2nd Squad start moving from their positions hidden from the trail and start to encircle the enemy. As they approach the tail of the VC patrol, they open up wounding one of the enemy and driving several more back into the trees. An optimistic grenade is thrown and bouncing around in the jungle lands almost at the throwers feet. The US take cover from the blast and they’ve lost the initiative.

Meanwhile the RTO is trying desperately to call in a medevac and a gunship to deal with the wounded and the enemy respectively. Unfortunately the atmospherics and rain aren’t helping and he’s rolling against a modified Rep of 2. It’s going to be some time until the men of 3rd Platoon get some relief, especially when the LT decides to try to take on an RPG gunner but only succeeds in getting himself and his RTO outgunned.

Still unable to take any direct part, the men of 1st Squad watch as the 3rd Squad leader picks up the M60 from his fallen gunner and is immediately shot by the same enemy obviously waiting for such an attempt. As his body slumps down the paddy dike it’s clear he’s dead but the medic has managed to patch up the previously wounded trooper and together they start trying to haul the dead back towards the rear of the platoon position where paddy fields provide a suitable LZ for a medevac bird should one arrive.

As the VC realise that 2nd Squad are in prime position to work down their flank and their casualties are mounting, they decide to start moving into a hidden tunnel entrance. The firing tapers off as the VC slip into the jungle, leaving their wounded behind. Several of 2nd Squad are bloodied in hand to hand combat, while others are lucky to see an RPG flash amongst them but too close to arm properly it buries itself into a tree and doesn’t explode.

FNG OPS Campaign – 4th Sept

4th Sept

I’m going to play this out long hand so as to give people reading an idea of how OPS works. The turn sequence is as follows:

  1. Check Weather. I roll a 5 which for this time of year means Heavy Rain
  2. Determine Supply Points. (SP) Because the FSB is still under a week old I get 6 d6 SP with which to pay for my activities.
  3. Determine Air Asset Points. (AAP) Heavy Rain means no AAP so no need to roll
  4. Roll for intel I gain minor intel telling me that theres a possible enemy supply crossroads in sector 2764, and the Enemy Influence (EI) goes up by 6
  5. Roll for Special Events. I found that special events happen too often so I roll only once a day, and this time nothing happens!
  6. Plan and Run the AM Operations. Since the Co. is in the field following “Highers” directive for now, I decide we’ll run a Co. Sweep in the sector. This is an all day OP generating a contact roll AM & PM. This contact roll results in a Medium contact, a booby trap is found and fortunately due to rolling a 6, it causes no casualties.
  7. Check if there’s a change in Weather. Nope, not that lucky!
  8. Plan and Run PM Operations. At the FSB my TDY plts complete the Basic Perimeter Defences. The rest of the Company are still continuing with the sweep. The contact roll results in another medium contact, this time an enemy squad has found us. At this point, we break to the table top for the game.
  9. With the rain lashing down, 3rd Platoon struggled through the jungle along a trail, their Rep 4 pointman from 2nd Squad leading them towards the area they’d been allotted to clear. Ahead of them, although unseen through the rain were two huts with paddy fields and spots of uncleared jungle leading to the impassible river. Moving cautiously through a number of turns without spotting any movement and always being aware of the risk of booby traps, 2nd Squad takes the lead and moves from Jungle into Elephant grass.

    In turn 16 the Pointman sprints across the gap to the first hut, prompting an insight check from the VC posted in the corner of the paddy who fires his SKS at the grunt. A volley of M16 rounds fly back and the VC ducks back into the rain. The US win the next activation and the pointman charges the enemy behind the dike, his movement putting off the enemy shot and as the two grapple, the VC goes down wounded and out of the fight.

    As the pointman regathers his composure and stands up on the dike, another VC spots him and shoots, his reaction is to duck back into the jungle away from the shooter rather than shoot back. As the rest of 2nd Squad try to rush across to the hut to where they can hear shots firing, 2 fail their fast move test and are left in the open. The VC take a couple of insight checks as they’re just within the visibility range, and 2 AK47’s ring out targetting one of the men. He goes down in a heap, multiple wounds appearing as the rain dilutes his blood even as it seeps from his body.

    Next turn the US win the activation again, and the pointman tries to pop up and shoot the charlie in the paddy dike. As he comes up, the SKS is trained on his position and another shot rings out, closer this time and he hunkers down. The M60 in the open shoots at the AK47 toting charlie in the pig pen, causing him to Duck back.

    The US again win the activation, and a grunt poking round the hut shoots at the VC in the paddy, causing him to duck back, but in his activation he pops up to fling a grenade drawing two M16’s fire and getting knocked down. The grenade thuds into the paddy half way to the enemy, and goes off throwing mud but little shrapnel around.

    The next couple of turns sees small localised repositioning, trying to stay out of each others sight, until the Americans stumble upon a tunnel entrance hidden under some pots outside the hut. They throw a grenade down which explodes, and begin to pull back. The RTO tries to make contact with the FSB to call in the 105mm Howitzers, but the crew are busy and tell him to call back later. It will take another two turns to finally get a spotting round in, during which the enemy completely out of sight for the rain, collect their wounded colleague and start to melt away.

    When the spotting round lands, it’s smack on target, the hut collapsing but the tunnel is not affected, the round doesn’t pack enough of a punch to bring it down. The US pull back, leaving their dead soldier behind however.

    Result of the game? 1 US KIA (Body not recovered), 1 VC WIA (Estimated Dead). Neither Hut was searched, although a tunnel entrance (1 of 2) was found. This translates to +1 EI for the US KIA, +2 EI for the BNR (Both lucky rolls, could have been +13!), -4 EI for the VC Est KIA. Total result -7 EI for the sector, and +1 FP for all units, +1 FP for 3rd Plt for BNR. I have not awarded any reduction in EI for the days operation, since nothing of real value was achieved.

  10. Check if there’s a change in Weather. The rain lifts, staying dry but cloudy for the night.
  11. Plan and Run Night Operations. I decide to try and lick my wounds, keeping all the units in defensive positions. Works out well, no enemy contact (Double 6!) means -1FP for all units.
  12. Book Keeping. Make sure all the records are updated to reflect the days EA, EI and EP changes as well as the SP and AAP

And that’s it, a day in the life of Firebase Stamford and the boys from Bravo Co. Hope you enjoyed reading, and look out for further updates of their progress, tomorrow they have to do it all again!

FNG OPS Campaign – Recap

Last year I started an OPS Campaign. OPS is a framework developed by Darby in support of Two Hour Wargames FNG vietnam wargame ruleset. They’re intended to provide a GM or individual players a narrative campaign experience and a context with which to generate tabletop games. The games can be played out or if you wanted they can be automated through the clever systems within the game.

AS I said, I started the OPS campaign last year but only managed to play through three days worth of it before I got sidetracked with other things. However, I saved all the progress made so far. This post is a recap and I hope to be continuing the game as a diversion from the other projects that I’m working on.

I suggest that you open the following link to the map of the AO in a separate window and I hope you’re familiar with both 4 and 8 figure grid references. MAP!!

(If you’re not, the first 2 figures locate the horizontal grid, the second 2 the vertical giving a kilometer square area for 4 fig. For 8 fig the first 2 are the horizontal, the 5th and 6th the vertical. The 3rd & 4th and 7th & 8th further refine the horizontal and vertical positioning by breaking the box into 10 divisions and another 10 within that)

Recap

The campaign started on the 1st September ’67 and my command is Bravo Co. None of my platoons are at full strength, each has a 3man plt command, 1st platoon has 24 other men, 2nd 21 and 3rd plt has only 18 men.

For supporting units I rolled only 1, a battery of 105’s.

Enemy presence in the AO is high, with 10 Local VC units, and 7 NVA/MFVC (Main Force Viet Cong) units.

1st Sept

Weather – Fog.

1st and 2nd Platoons Air Assault into planned FSB location at grid 29756170 (spot height 124). They have a brief firefight with enemy who break contact, leaving 1 US WIA (light). They then conduct a sweep of the sector, which garners no further enemy action or contact.

At this point, the weather changes, the fog turns to monsoon rain, scuppering my intentions to air land the 105’s and the remaining platoon.

The troops on the ground begin breaking ground for the Basic Perimeter Defences.

2nd Sept

Weather AM – RAIN.

Intel – Possible Cache in sector 2760

Special Event – Major OP required. 5 days in Sector 2863.

Well, with a limited stock of AAP’s, there wasn’t much I could do. The FSB definitely needed its guns moving there, and if I didn’t do it now, the monsoons could set in. Therefore, I have airlifted the Battery into position, and since the choppers were there, I appropriated 1 to take my WIA back to see the pretty nurses. He’ll be back in 6 days.

In the meantime, I figured my 2 loaned plt’s for babysitting the FSB would be transported to me, so ignored any SP or AAP cost for those. They can crack straight on with the Basic Perimeter Defences.

1st and 2nd platoons will sweep North and then East up the valley on foot, allowing me to use my remaining AAP’s to deliver 3rd Plt and Co. Command to the required grid for the OP. Seems that the enemy saw us coming and were ready. Poor old 2nd Squad took 1 WIA and 1 KIA. The enemy slipped away and we were left with nothing.

To their south east, 1st & 2nd Platoons have been shot at by a sniper to no effect.

PM.
Its still raining.
1st & 2nd have patrolled another sector further North coming into contact with a local VC 5 man group. 1 US WIA (serious) and 1 confirmed kill, but several bloodtrails. They’ll have to Remain Over Night in sector 2963.

Back at the FSB the battery have begun erecting the Basic Fire Direction Centre which should be up by tomorrow night.

Another day in the field for Bravo. HIGHER’s big push offensive is turning into a right meatgrinder. Not a good day overall.

3rd Sept

AM.
Weather – Cloudy.
Before the units move out, a medevac swoops in and collects the 2 WIA, and KIA from yesterdays contacts. WIA will be back on the line in 3 & 4 days respectively.

3rd Plt and Company Co. are going to play the anvil, to a hammer sweep conducted by 1st & Second Plts. Unfortunately, they are hit by a command detonated mine as they move through the sector, losing 6 men (3 KIA, 3 WIA).

PM.
Still cloudy.
A medevac again pulls out the dead and injured, the WIA returning in 1,1 & 4 days.

The sweep continues, contacting a squad from the Main Force VC HQ. In the ensuing Firefight, 1 enemy is KIA, and 1 estimated WIA for no friendly loss.

Night.
Clouds give way to rain.

Fatigue levels are rising from such sustained activity, so I decide to take a risk. 2nd Plt, the freshest, will conduct a night ambush in concert with a flareship and spooky mission (gotta use those AAP’s sometime!). The rest of the unit will RON, and hope there is no contact.

Sometime in the early hours, an enemy unit stumbles through the ambushing units arcs of fire. They fire, the enemy react and slip away into the jungle firing as they go. 1 US soldier is WIA while the plt suggest they have wounded at least 2 enemy. Not a good result.

2 firefly missions are also flown over night, 1 managing to locate a suspected camp in the operation sector reducing EI a little.

The units RON however pass 2 d6, but achieve a “cache found” result. It’s undefended, so I determine no contact has occurred and they can lose a FP.

A bad day for the US, I now have 1 squad with only 2 members, another with only 4 and scattered casualties throughout the company. Enemy Influence is still over 20, coupled with the EA and EP of 4 & 1 respectively, meaning that major contacts are still likely and there’s still 3 days left of the required OP!

The good news is that the Basic fire Direction Centre is now built, so the artillerymen are working on the Basic Artillery positions, and soon I’ll be able to send out some HE lovin’ to Charlie.