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The People's Army: Fielding A PAVN Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Battalion

The People's Army: Fielding a North Vietnamese Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Company The People's Army:
Fielding A PAVN Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Battalion
with Russell Briant

Following on from my series of articles on making the most of the Special Rules for the People’s Republic of Vietnam Army (PAVN) entitled Welcome to the Jungle, I will now offer some advice and suggestions on force composition for the PAVN Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Infantry Battalion (page 22 of Tour Of Duty).

Read Russell's Welcome To The Jungle: Part One here... Part Two here... Part Three here...
Tour Of Duty
The Vietnam War defined a generation, whether it was through service in Vietnam or opposition to the war. The war in Vietnam remains one the bloodiest wars since the Second World War. 

Learn more about Tour Of Duty here...  
Tour Of Duty
On page 122, Tour Of Duty suggests 600, 1000 and 1500 point forces for Flames Of War Vietnam games (see the text below). So let’s start out small and work our way up to the higher point totals.
The People's Army: Fielding a North Vietnamese Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Company
Size of Vietnam Games
Operations in Vietnam ranged from platoon-sized patrols all the way up to corps-sized operations, making both big and small games feasible.

At 600 points a side, your games represent a Free World patrol running into a Nationalist company, with both sides calling up additional support as the battle escalates. Small battles will feature more patrol-style action with ambushes and cautious advances out in the boonies.

Bigger games with 1000 points a side pit a Free World company against a larger Nationalist force in a serious engagement.

At 1500 points a side, the battle has escalated into a major engagement between a strong Free World force
and a Nationalist battalion. On a 6’ x 4’ (1.8m x 1.2m) table, this will be a pitched battle as both sides make a major effort to change the course of the war.

Larger games are well suited to having multiple players on each side (perhaps each with their own objectives) and work well on large tables with plenty of space to spread out.

The People's Army: Fielding a North Vietnamese Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Company
The 600 Point Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Battalion
This is a good starting point to build a force to ambush a Free World patrol. The core elements are the TiỂu Đoàn BỘ Binh HQ and two Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Infantry Companies. The minimum HQ consists of a Company Command and 2iC Command AK47 Assault Rifle teams for 35 points.

To take advantage of the Quality of Quantity Special Rule I’ve made one Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Company with fifteen teams. One way to do this is to take two infantry platoons totalling the required fifteen teams; nine AK47 Assault Rifle teams and six B40 teams for 330 points. This company would redeploy in full using the Born in the North to Die in the South Special Rule and is a good mix of fire and manoeuvre, anti-tank and assault teams. At 600 points you are only likely to face lightly armoured vehicles so the Anti-tank rating of 9 of the B40 is more than sufficient. The B40 teams also get the RPG Salvo special rule; the ability to reroll any misses in the Shooting Step if they remained stationary in the Movement Step.

The People's Army: Fielding a North Vietnamese Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Company
An alternative is to select a single platoon for 195 points with five AK47 Assault rifle teams, three B40 teams and a Type 58 LMG team and use the extra HQ teams to get another six teams. I have chosen to add three Type 52 75mm recoilless gun teams for 75 points and three Type 53 82mm mortars teams for 60 points.

The recoilless guns have the same Anti-tank rating as the B40 but a 3+ Firepower, double Rate of Fire and three times the range. The mortars provide an option to pin the enemy and forces them to spread out, making them more vulnerable to assault. Alternatively, they are just as effective as the recoilless guns at attacking dug in infantry with Firepower 3+.

The 600 Point Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Battalion
Headquarters
TiỂu Đoàn BỘ Binh HQ (Fearless Trained)
with Company Command AK47 Assault Rifle team & 2iC Comand AK47 Assault Rifle team. 35 points
with three Type 52 75mm recoilless guns.
60 points
with three Type 57 HMGs. 75 points
Combat Companies
BỘ Binh (Infantry) Company (Fearless Trained)
with Command AK47 Assault Rifle team & one Infantry Platoon with four AK47 Assault Rifle teams, three B40 teams & one Type 58 LMG team. 195 points
BỘ Binh (Infantry) Company (Fearless Trained)
with Command AK47 Assault Rifle team & one Infantry Platoon with four AK47 Assault Rifle teams & three B40 teams. 175 points
Support Companies 
Divisional Anti-air Company (Fearless Trained)
with Company Command AK47 Assault Rifle & one Anti-air Platoon with three ZPU-1 14.5mm Anti-aircraft guns. 60 points
Total Points: 600 points
This set-up will come back with just its core teams if it returns using the Born in the North to Die in the South rule so it needs to use its considerable firepower to overwhelm in the first deployment. With the second Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Company, there are not enough points to have more than one platoon; 175 points give us five AK47 Assault Rifle teams and three B40 teams.

With 60 points remaining, it’s exactly enough to field a Divisional Anti-aircraft Company consisting of a Command AK47 Assault Rifle team and three ZPU-1 14.5mm AA machine guns; just the ticket for dealing with any roaming enemy aircraft.

At 600 points, this force is an excellent balance of assault capability, anti-tank punch and anti-aircraft power.

The People's Army: Fielding a North Vietnamese Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Company
The 1000 Points Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Battalion
With an extra 400 points to play with, I want to get two full companies that would benefit from Quality of Quantity Special Rule. I have kept the same choices for TiỂu Đoàn BỘ Binh HQ and first Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Company as seen in the 600 point list. But with the 1000 point list I've added a second Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh company with two platoons for 330 points consisting of a total of nine AK47 Assault Rifle teams and six B40 teams; a total of fifteen teams that will return to the tabletop using Born in the North to Die in the South Speical Rule.

Also want to keep the Anti-aircraft deterrent, and more points meant I was able to beef up the Divisional Anti-air Company to two full platoons of ZPU-1 14.5mm anti-aircraft guns (six guns total) for 110 points. For an additional 10 points I increased their effectiveness by increasing their rate of fire from 4 to 5; this provides a total of thirty shot at Firepower 5+ and a greatly increases the likelihood of shredding any Free World helicopters that happen to be nearby when this Company arrives on the table using Guerrilla Deployment Special Rule.
The People's Army: Fielding a North Vietnamese Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Company
In the same vein, I have added a full company of Type 52 75mm recoilless guns for 115 points to further supplement the three other recoilless guns already in the list. Against any lightly armoured vehicles, twelve shots at upon deployment could prove devastating. With the 70 points remaining I’ve selected two Resistance teams and two Booby Traps; for some flavour and the fact it rounds out my 1000 point list nicely.

Two big assault platoons; massed recoilless gun fire to destroy any lightly armoured vehicles and plenty of anti-aircraft and a couple of wild cards thrown in terms of the Local Resistance team should be enough to keep any Free World player off-balance.

The 1000 Point Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Battalion
Headquarters
TiỂu Đoàn BỘ Binh HQ (Fearless Trained)
with Company Command AK47 Assault Rifle team & 2iC Comand AK47 Assault Rifle team. 35 points
with three Type 52 75mm recoilless guns.
60 points
with three Type 57 HMGs. 75 points
Combat Companies
BỘ Binh (Infantry) Company (Fearless Trained)
with Command AK47 Assault Rifle team & one Infantry Platoon with four AK47 Assault Rifle teams, three B40 teams & one Type 58 LMG team. 195 points
BỘ Binh (Infantry) Company (Fearless Trained)
with Command AK47 Assault Rifle team & two Infantry Platoons each with five AK47 Assault Rifle teams & three B40 teams. 330 points
Weapons Companies
 
BỘ Binh Recoilless Gun Company (Fearless Trained)  
with Command AK47 Assault Rifle team & two Gun Platoons each with three Type 52 75mm recoilless guns.
115 points
Support Companies
Divisional Anti-air Company (Fearless Trained)
with Company Command AK47 Assault Rifle team & two Anti-air platoons each with three ZPU-1 14.5mm Anti-aircraft guns. 120 points
Local Resistance (Confident Trained)
 
with two Resistance teams. 50 points
Booby Traps
 
with two Booby Traps. 20 points
Total Points: 1000 points
The 1500 Points Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Battalion
Now the big force; keeping with the theme of the 1000 point list, I use the extra 500 points in the following manner.

I’m very keen to add the Ðac Công Special Tasks Company; these are Fearless Veteran Reconnaissance Engineers who can get Flame-throwers. These are the best of the best of the North Vietnamese forces. Taking three Special Tasks Platoons give me four Pioneer AK47 Assault Rifle teams (including the Command Pioneer AK47 Assault Rifle team) and six Pioneer B40 teams. 1500 point games means a higher chance of encountering the heavy tanks of the Free World such as the American M48A3 Patton or the ANZAC Centurion Mk 5, therefore I have invested five points per platoon to upgrade one of the Pioneer B40 teams to a Pioneer B41 team. The B41 has a longer range of 12”/30cm, a higher Anti-tank rating of 11, and a superior Tank Assault value of 5 compared to the B40. It does however have a lower Firepower of 5+. This company costs 385 points.

The People's Army: Fielding a North Vietnamese Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Company
Also, because of a higher likelihood of heavy armour, I have swapped the Type 52 75mm recoilless guns for the harder hitting Type 62 82mm recoilless guns of the Divisional Recoilless Gun Company. The Type 62 recoilless gun has the same range (24”/60cm), Rate of Fire (2) and Firepower (3+) as the Type 52 but the Anti-tank rating increases from 9 to 13. Not enough to penetrate the frontal armour of the Patton or Centurion (each has Front Armour 12) but plenty if Guerrilla Deployment rules allows this company to exploit the weaker side armour (Patton 8; Centurion 6).
The 1500 Point Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Battalion
Headquarters
TiỂu Đoàn BỘ Binh HQ (Fearless Trained)
with Company Command AK47 Assault Rifle team & 2iC Comand AK47 Assault Rifle team. 35 points
with three Type 52 75mm recoilless guns.
60 points
with three Type 57 HMGs. 75 points
Combat Companies
BỘ Binh (Infantry) Company (Fearless Trained)
with Command AK47 Assault Rifle team & one Infantry Platoon with four AK47 Assault Rifle teams, three B40 teams & one Type 58 LMG team. 195 points
BỘ Binh (Infantry) Company (Fearless Trained)
with Command AK47 Assault Rifle team & two Infantry Platoons each with five AK47 Assault Rifle teams & three B40 teams. 330 points
Support Companies
Divisional Recoilless Gun Company (Fearless Trained)
with Command AK47 Assault Rifle team & two Gun Platoons each with three Type 65 82mm recoilless guns. 165 points
Divisional Anti-air Company (Fearless Trained)
with Company Command AK47 Assault Rifle team & two Anti-air platoons each with three ZPU-1 14.5mm Anti-aircraft guns. 120 points
Đặc Công (Special Tasks) Company (Fearless Veteran)
 
with Command Pioneer AK47 Assault Rifle team & three Special Tasks Platoons with one Pioneer AK47 Assault Rifle team & two Pioneer B41 teams.
400 points
Local Resistance (Confident Trained)  
with three Resistance teams. 75 points
Booby Traps
 
with four Booby Traps. 40 points
Total Points: 1495 points
The Type 62 recoilless gun also has an artillery bombardment capability with Anti-tank 3 and Firepower 6; a supplementary capability that increases the versatility of this unit. This Company seems a bargain at 165 points.

The remaining 135 points is spent on increasing the number of Resistance Teams to three and Booby Traps to six. That’s it for the big battalion; the awesome Special Tasks Company; two solid assaulting platoons; units to deal with the heaviest armour and air power and more Booby Traps and Resistance teams to mess with the enemy.

~ Russell.


Last Updated On Thursday, June 20, 2013 by Blake at Battlefront