Monday, January 2, 2017

Khe Sanh '68 Replay

I wanted to kick 2017 off with some gaming and was not able to meet the normal crew so I decided on Decision Games Khe Sanh '68 from their mini game series. If you'd like to read about the actual events Wikipedia has a good entry and you can click here to read it 
Battle of Khe Sanh


The 11x 17 map and 40 counters were very quick to setup. I shuffled the Opposition Force deck which is used to determine the NVA and VC actions each turn. I looked over the operations available to the Allied forces and was ready to go. 


Turn 1

Operation Prairie Fire - the buildup in Laos seemed ominous so an attempt was made to eliminate some of the gathering forces. The wiley foe avoided detection so the operation had no impact. 

F4's and Skyraiders were called to pound the enemy outside of the Khe Sanh areas. They were very effective and eliminated two units and drove one off. For the moment Hill 861 was safe. 


During the NVA turn the OpFor built up again and infiltrated closer to the US positions. 

Turn 2

The Airforce and Navy worked hard and had all but one of the air strikes ready for action again. The rapid build up after the successful air actions caused the US to select to build up. All available reserves were moved and prepared for deployment. Air strikes once again hit the areas around Khe Sanh destroying one NVA and causing a guerrilla unit to break off. NVA AA managed to destroy one air strike and that was painful. 

The NVA turn was ominously quiet. 

Turn 3

Operation Niagra - the US decided the quiet NVA must me wavering and an intense air campaign would end the siege. The B52s and other strike planes did the butchers work eliminating four NVA units. 


The NVA turn was very active as they advanced all across the area and launched several attacks. The Special Forces were able to destroy the Lang Vei camp and US armor roared in repelling the attacks on the Rock Quarry north of Khe Sanh. 

Turn 4

Operation Igloo White - startled by the rapid build up on both sides of Khe Sanh it was determined intel was critical but the NVA skillfully avoided detection. 

Several of the air strikes failed to refresh and the air attacks were ineffective. 


Day Tranh!
NVA masterfully followed up on last turns advances with an attack on Khe Sanh from the north and the entrenchment to the 
south. Puff The Magic Dragon appeared and destroyed one of the attackers. It was a brutal firefight going three rounds but in
the end the NVA swarmed Khe Sanh issuing the US a decisive defeat. 


Closing Thoughts

WOW what a fun and fantastic system. The OpFor action deck makes this unpredictable and adds a high replay value. 
In retrospect, the US was too conservative with the ground forces. The US should have actively tried to expand the perimeter around
Khe Sanh to avoid the attack from both sides. The US air power is critical and a turn of bad refresh rolls was costly. Instead of using intel
on turn four the US likely should have conducted an airmobile operation but the NVA card combo was powerful. 

I look forward to playing this again and trying the other solitaire games in this series. At $12.95 retail, this game is a must have for 
eveyone's collection.