Patrol 22 is to insert and patrol according to the AO indicated in the grids given and is to report on any enemy activity and gain any intelligence.
The first few turns went without a hitch. A 'blip' came up in the first turn and proceeded to move around the board, and approached the tail end of the LRRP formation.
I had some lucky dice rolls and the LRRPs spotted the blip, which turned out to be the LMG team, who in turn seemed oblivious of the hiding LRRPs.
Still seeing nothing the VC were joined by another blip, which turned out to be the section command element.
As LRRPs tried not to openly engage the enemy I didn't attack the VC. Instead the information was sent via radio to the Tactical Operations Centre as per SOP.
As my system for moving the enemy blips and figures required a new direction to be determined when two or more groups join up, the VC merrily went on their way unware that they were under the watchful eye of the LRRPs.
With the VC now out of sight, the LRRPs pushed on to their first check point and then set up a hasty ambush in case the VC came snooping around.
The ambush didn't go as well as expected - the VC spotted the LRRPs before being spotted themselves and went right in to counter ambush drills.
The jungle and the prepared position of the LRRPs made it difficult for the VC to gain the upper hand in the battle, as slowly, one by one, the VC went down, and the battle went in the favor of the Recon Team.
Once the firefight was over some of the LRRPs searched the bodies of the dead VC for intel while the other LRRPs covered them.
It was just as well they were covered for a new blip had shown up and started to pour fire down upon the LRRPs until the blip was spotted. As soon as it spotted the blip faded away in to the jungle.
Grabbing the intel they had found the LRRPs began to shake out in to their formation and head back the way they had come for extraction.
Another blip decided to change their plans though.
Seeing how sucessful the LRRPs had been at hiding before I kept the rear security in place. This was a big mistake. The VC spotted the LRRPs and opened fire, taking out the JNR Scout in the team.
The JNR RTO returned fire and killed both VC.
Not taking any more chances the LRRP team moved to the extraction point, taking their wounded comrade with them.
The game ran very smoothly after coming up with the new ideas for the blinds. This added a bit of tension to the game as I was not sure what would be out there. Of all the blips that did appear three were blinds and even though they were not representing actual figures, they did cause some worry with hit and run tactics until they were spotted by the LRRPs.
The rules state that any figure wounded is removed from play. As LRRPs didn't leave people behind I decided that I would leave the wounded LRRP on the table and carry him off.
I left the wounded VC on the table as well, as searching the bodies for intel played an important part of a LRRP patrol. I think next time I will add a rule that any dead/wounded VC that doesn't have continuous LOS on it will be removed and a blood trail put in its place.
I used the spotting rule - I am still not sure if I like this rule or not yet, but it did work well for jungle warfare and made for a very close up battle. It did prevent me from using the resources a LRRP would have, namely artillery fire and gunships.
I have an idea on how to fix this though. More on that another time.
Grenades were used a few times in the battle, and I was not overly impressed by them. I found it almost impossible to suppress troops with them. You have only a 10% chance of killing with a grenade, and if you don't kill with one, you have only a 10% chance of suppressing with one.
Because of this I ended up using a lot of rifle fire as this was very effective and pinning enemy troops.
I will go over the grenade rules again to see if I was missing anything, but failing that I might tinker around with them. Grenades do have a Morale Modifier, but again I need to read over the grenade rules again to see if I missed something.
I played with what scenery I had on hand at the time, and I definitely need to make more scenery, especially for playing in jungle areas.
Gaining the intel was an important part of my game, as I have charts for a campaign that rely on intel for follow up games.
Disposable Heroes Point Blank is a great game for having an opponent. Not knowing what your opponent will do and moving the right figures at the right time makes for a great game.
Playing it solo was not too bad. I was able to get it to work for me, but I definitely need to have a scenario and a set of guide lines for what the mission objectives are and a clear cut set of Victory points.
As I will have to play this one solo (my regular wargaming buddy is a Vietnam Vet and doesn't want to play, which is perfectly understandable) I will continue to improve on my solo system.
But I intend to play a Rhodesian Bush War campaign with my mate, so I will still get to play some games of Point Blank with him.
I am happy to discuss and share ideas for anyone wanting to try out my solo rules.