Playing ARVN is clearly not obscure enough; I have to play the South Vietnamese ( or actually the "independent" Army of Vietnam.) in 1953. Reading a great book recommended to me on TMP called Embers of War. Really shows how French thinking evolved during the conflict and how the US saw it as an Anti-communism war; pity.
Back to the game. Rolled up a squad using Grunts Forward and they have had 3 actions. My squad leader is "evil" which is a first for me. It is actually fun seeing all his opportunities in this light. The LT is a weak Catholic whose Dad is a government official so he is filling time. The second squad leader is at odds with my Sgt, Dang Tong. Because the platoon's performance has not been good up till now a french advisor is tagging alone to see Lt Chu in action.
Lt Chu briefed the squad leaders on the mission though he was clearly nervous at having to brief in front of the French officer. "Intel has pinpointed this village as a supply point for the Viet Minh. We also think that the temple is a HQ of some sort. We need to go in fast and hard before they can move or destroy anything! ( trying to sound confident in front of the french officer) Sgt Tong, you will enter by the road and draw any fire and deal with it. Sgt Chu will accompany me on a flanking manuever to get to the temple. There will be a french patrol boat on the far side of the village so no one can escape. Remember, speed is essential!"
Lt Chu Inept/religion Father is minor government official Gr I with hesitant card
Sgt Dang Tong 1st squad Evil/ pleasure Orphaned and raised on extremely hard work on his uncle's farm Gr I
Cpl Binh ASL 1st squad liberal patriot/ alcoholic Gr 0
Sgt Trang Chu 2nd squad Gambler/wealth Gr II leader
1 LMG attached with Gr 0 leader
1 French observer( Gr III leader) and 1 80mm MTR available.
Vietnamese National Army is 8/8 for you FOF fans. VM irregulars are 6/10.
With the temple captured the VM resistance quickly ends as the east part of the village is under effective fire from the french gunboat. The Vietnamese search the rest of the village and find nothing. Still it is a victory! They capture the village with all the grain and sustain only 4 KIA.
Post game Lt Chu is impressed with Sgt Tong's capture of the temple and netting a POW. 1st squad's KIA is not replaced yet but the squad continues to have high confidence in Tong's abilities. Sgt Tong also meets a black marketeer who needs a favor. For the right price Sgt Tong has agreed to raid a warehouse with the squad. He reasons he can take the men out on a training mission and stumble onto a VM drug cache. Yeah, the LT will buy that. He will pay his squad to keep quiet and threaten the corporal with exposure of his alcoholism if he talks. Being evil is fun!
Grunts Forward generated the following OPFOR for this scenario:
2 squads of 7 men each with 2 leaders ( 1 Gr II and 1 Gr I), a LMG and a sniper. 1 LMG came is as a reinforcement on turn 4.