Welcome To The Jungle: Part Three Welcome To The Jungle: Part Three
Using The Special Rules Of The People’s Army Of Vietnam
with Russell Briant

Many players are going to be surprised just how hard it is for the Free World forces to succeed in the new Vietnam, Tour Of Duty missions. The People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN), the Nationalists, have a well tuned set of special rules to neutralise the technological and firepower superiority of their opponents. To bog them down, hit them from surprising directions, confuse, frustrate, and ultimately overcome them.
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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.

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Let’s have a thorough fossick through the Nationalist PAVN tactical tool box found on pages 112 to 117 of Tour Of Duty. To keep it manageable, I’ll focus on those that apply to the Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh Infantry Battalion. The Ironclad (Armoured) Battalion special rules will feel very familiar to Soviet Armour players, with a handful of modern additions.
Read Welcome To The Jungle: Part One here... Read Welcome To The Jungle: Part Two here...
Welcome To The Jungle: Part Three
Special Directive Number Three: Power To The People
Booby Traps and Minefields

A great way to take the spring out of the step of any Free World force is to stick a Booby Trap or minefield under key teams. Unlike normal Fortifications, Nationalist Booby Traps and Minefields get placed at the same time you would declare Ambushes. They can be placed under any team that is not dug in or in prepared positions. Platoons with teams in Minefields or with Booby traps under them need to pass a Morale Test before those teams to be able to move. Each team that then moves must take a Skill Check to see if they detonate the device. Failure results in a Pinned platoon and at least a wounded team. The best intentions of the Free World player can unravel on these cheap force multipliers.

Welcome To The Jungle: Part Three
Vietnamese Bunkers
A Tiểu Đoàn Bộ Binh (Infantry) Battalion, can create up to three Heavy Machine-gun nests from its Head Quarters assets. Nationalist Bunkers are deployed at the same time and in the same manner and location you would place an Ambush. This can mean you have them interdicting a Free World platoon, just when they least wanted it.

Local Forces
The Địa Phương Quân (Local Forces) Company has the Unidentified Teams rule. Looking just like civilians a Local Forces team must be identified before they can be engaged. This happens automatically if the Local Forces Company shoots or assaults. Otherwise a Free World platoon must attempt to shoot or bombard it and they must pass a Skill Test to be allowed to conduct that fire. This rule could be just enough allow them to move to into close range and get the first drop.

Welcome To The Jungle: Part Three
Local Resistance
Resistance Teams can be taken in a Battalion that doesn’t have any Thiết Giáp (Ironclad - Armoured) Companies.

Also looking like the local civilians, a Nationalist player can have up to six of these Resistance Teams for 25 points each. They have a bunch of particularly interesting rules that commends that investment.

They can start anywhere on the table as long as are more than 12”/30cm from any table edge and all other Resistance Teams, 6”/15cm from all ANZAC Teams and 2”/5cm from other Free World Teams. They move a dice determined distance between 2”/5cm and 6”/15cm. The Free World Player also gets to move one of Resistance Team, if they wish, in the same manner during their turn.

It was noted earlier how a Resistance Team can be used to guide the arrival of a Địa Phương Quân (Local Forces) Company using their Guiding Reserves special rule.

Welcome To The Jungle: Part Three
Move the Objective
A Resistance team within 8”/20cm of an Objective can be used to attempt to move it. On a 4+ the Objective is moved to where the Resistance team is and the Resistance Team is removed from the game. This can only happen once to that Objective but it’s a great way to upset the plans of a Free World player who thinks they have matters in hand. As with Guiding Reserves, failure also removes the team. Free World LZ Objectives are immune to this ploy.

Shooting with Resistance
As a desperation move, a Resistance team can attempt to take a single shot at an enemy team within 4”/10cm. On a 4+ they get to take the shot with an Anti-tank rating of 3 and Firepower of 4+. Succeed or fail, the Resistance team is removed. Killing the right team at the right time could be a game changer, making such self-sacrifice worthwhile.

Welcome To The Jungle: Part Three
Locating the Enemy
This is the one skill a Resistance team has that doesn’t eliminate them when they attempt it and allows them to act as an Observer or attempt to use Eyes and Ears like a Recce team to remove Gone to Ground from an enemy platoon. They need 4+ again to allow them to act these ways.

Both can be very useful. The Nationalists have a number of Artillery units that either must or may be deployed off table using the Fire Assault special rule. If their single Observer is killed or unable to see the desired target the Resistance Team could be vital.

Similarly, the Reconnaissance Companies available to the Nationalists are very expensive and the Resistance Teams are an alternative to remove Gone-to Ground from Free World platoons.
Welcome To The Jungle: Part Three
Questioning Resistance Teams
Even the attempt to identify and through that neutralise a Resistance Team creates opportunities for the Nationalist player to later exploit. Questioning a Resistance Team, requires a Skill Test and ties up a whole platoon that is not Pinned Down, did not shoot in the shooting phase, and has at least one team within 4”/10cm of a Resistance Team.  Instead of Launching an Assault, the questioning platoon rolls a Skill Check to attempt to detain the Resistance Team. Those teams from a questioning platoon that are within 4”/10cm of the Resistance Team then become no longer Gone to Ground. So even if the Resistance Team is regrettably detained, a Free World platoon has been beneficially distracted from useful employment for a whole turn and has teams exposed for the Nationalist’s turn.

Resistance Is Never Futile!
In my view, the writers of Tour of Duty have achieved a nicely balanced game and the Vietnamese Nationalist PAVN force is very well themed and equipped to succeed on the table top. Do not expect fighting against them to be a walk in the park – it’s, very much, a jungle out there!

~ Russell.

Last Updated On Thursday, April 4, 2013 by Blake at Battlefront