Fincher’s Initiative – A Crossfire Scenario for Vietnam

Julian Davies sent over one of his Vietnam scenarios for the Schueler variant of Crossfire. All words are Julian’s.


Introduction

This is the the first scenario I did for the Vietnam Crossfire rules by Dave Schueler (2001). The Schueler rules are just simple modifications to the basic rules. They are 1 base = 1 squad, like normal Crossfire.

The scenario is written in the style of the type of Nam game that I usually play. I write up a tactical situation and then act as the Games Master/VC player whilst the other player(s) are the US commanders. Therefore I don’t need to write much of a briefing for the VC.


US Player Briefing

17 February 1966

The 2nd Battalion, 5th US Cavalry, is participating in Operation WHITE WING near Bong Son in the coastal Binh Dinh province of South Vietnam. The terrain is rugged with craggy, jungle-covered peaks towering to altitudes of 50O metres and more. Gullies and draws common to the area restrict and slow the movement of the battalion, while the air is warm and moist without any benefit of the ocean breezes.

You are Captain Tom Fincher, CO of A Company. Your mission is to provide security for the battalion command post. As the battalion’s reserve, A Company is also responsible for conducting a local patrol to make certain that the enemy has not slipped into the area without being seen. The battalion’s B Company is 2,500m to the northwest on a search and destroy operation, whilst C Company is on a similar mission 4,200m to the north.

Map for Fincher's Initiative

Map for Fincher’s Initiative

Leaving your 3rd Platoon and the weapons platoon behind, you left the battalion base area with 1st and 2nd Platoons at 1200 hours to go on the local patrol. The high humidity and lack of a breeze soon results in hot sweaty bodies and rapidly emptying canteens. Except for the cursing of the men stumbling over the broken ground and the clinking of equipment the first hour passes quietly, until…

Company A comprises the following:

Order of battle – Company A, 2nd Battalion, 5th US Cavalry

  • 1 x Company Commander (+2)
  • 3 x Rifle Platoons
    • 1 x Platoon Commander (+1)
    • 1 x Rifle squad (3d6)
    • 1 x M79 squad (3d6, ignoring cover reduction)
    • 1 x M6O squad (4d6)
  • Weapons Platoon
    • 1 x Platoon Commander (+l)
    • 1 x 81mm mortar squad (12 FM)

All squads are rated Veteran.
The Company Commander and all Platoon Commanders may function as Forward Observers for the mortars.


Umpire’s Notes

For the first hour of the patrol the day is quiet and peaceful.

Player(s) to deploy both platoons on table in patrol formation.

1300 hrs. The company RTO is monitoring the battalion net. B Company is calling in to report that it is receiving enemy fire from the surrounding high ground. B Company is in the vicinity of the gully and on the lower slopes 2,500m NNW of battalion HQ.

At this point Fincher called in his two platoon leaders to advise them of the report and continued with the patrol.

1315 hrs. 15 minutes later another call was monitored. The situation with B Company is becoming critical. The artillery forward observer has been killed and the company is suffering numerous casualties. The company cannot manoeuvre against the enemy because of the heavy volume of fire it is receiving.

At this point Fincher alerted 3rd Platoon and the weapons platoon of what was happening and told both units to be ready to move on a moments notice to a rendezvous point 1500m north of where they were then located. He also told his weapons platoon to orient its 81mm mortars towards B Company’s position, ready to fire in support if needed. He then told the two platoons with him to swing north towards the same rendezvous point.

1335 hrs. 20 minutes later Finoher receives word from Battalion HQ to go to B Company’s assistance.

Movement over the rocky terrain was difficult and it was an hour before all of the platoons of A Company could assemble at the point previously selected. Fortunately the rendezvous point was only l0000m front B Company and more important, it was behind the enemy force that had been giving B Company such a hard time. Fincher deployed 3 platoons in line and attacked. Preceded by fire from their own 81mm mortars A Company assaulted and had completely defeated the enemy by 1500 hours.

Movement

  • At patrol speed it takes 1 hour to cover 1000m.
  • At quick time it takes 1 hour to cover 1500m or 40 minutes to cover 1000m.

VC MainForce Company (reinforced)

Order of battle – VC MainForce

  • 1 x Company Commander (+1)
  • 2 x HMG squads (4d6)
  • 1 x 57mm Recoilless Rifle squad (4d6)
  • 2 x Heavy weapons squads (4d6)
  • 4 x Rifle Platoons
    • 1 x Platoon Commander (+1)
    • 3 x Rifle squads (3d6)

All squads are classed as Regular.
The HMG, Recoilless Rrifle and heavy weapon squads may be attached to the infantry platoons.


Game Set Up

B Company and the other VC are considered mutually engaged and are not part of the fight.

The VC force deploys roughly in a line facing northwest with up to one platoon in a reserve position. They are neither dug-in nor hidden.

The US begin with the initiative and pre-planned bombardment (up to 4 FM) from the 81mm mortars is allowed.

Because of the element of surprise, the VC may not conduct any reactive fire until the US have either engaged a VC squad with small arms fire or have moved into contact with a VC squad.


Victory

A Company can be expected to defeat the VC but a comparison with the initiative shown by Fincher will determine how well the US player(s) actually performed. His company had defeated the VC within 1-1/2 hours of being ordered to go to B Company’s assistance.

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