Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Tunnel

We played a second game in out Tour of Darkness Campaign last weekend. Christian is back in town and was able to make it out and make up a new character 2Lt. William (Billy) Haverford IV – The platoon commander. 


Late May 1965

A few weeks ago, the 173rd Airborne Brigade arrived in the Republic of Vietnam from Okinawa. One battalion had been tasked to defend Bien Hoa airbase. So far the platoon has spent most of their time filling sandbags to bolster the defences around Bien Hoa. Occasionally they are sent out on security/presence patrols in the immediate vicinity of the Airbase.


Half of the platoon is to conduct a security/presence patrol along a road near the Bien Hoa airbase.


2Lt. William (Billy) Haverford IV
Ag d6, Sm d4, Sp d6, St d6, Vg d8,
Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 7
Skills: Fighting d8, Shooting d8, Notice d4, Stealth d4, Intimidation d6, Persuasion d6, Knowledge (Military Administration) d4,
Edges: Jump Qualified, West Pointer, Connections (Staff), Brawny
Hindrances: Overconfident, Stubborn, Vow (minor – win medals) 
Gear: Fatigues, Load Bearing Equipment, M14 Rifle, Grenades, M1911 Pistol, Poncho, Flashlight, Flak Vest, Binoculars

Radio Operator - Troop Quality D8/Morale D8 – M16 Rifle

MG team Troop Quality D8/Morale D8
1x Gunner – M60 Machinegun
1x Assistant Machine-Gunner – M16 Rifle
2x Riflemen – M16 Rifle

Sgt. Gerry “Gums” Malone – Wild Card (Dave)
Ag d6, Sm d6, Sp d6, St d4, Vg d8,
Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 6
Skills: Fighting d6, Shooting d6, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Throwing d6, Repair d4, Tracking d6, Driving d4, Swimming d4
Edges: Jump Qualified, Rank: NCO, Alertness, Arcane Resistance.
Hindrances: Ugly, Quirk (Bull-shitter), Vengeful (Major)
Gear: Fatigues, Load Bearing Equipment, M16 Rifle, Grenades, Machete,

Fireteam 1 Troop Quality D8/Morale D8
1x Grenadier – M79 Grenade Launcher
3x Riflemen – M16 Rifle

Sgt.. Jerome Thomas
Ag d6, Sm d8, Sp d6, St d6, Vg d6,
Pace 6, Parry 6, Toughness 5
Skills: Fighting d4, Shooting d6, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Intimidate d6, Persuasion d6, Healing d6, Gambling d4, Knowledge (demolitions) d4
Edges: Jump Qualified, Rank: NCO, Command
Hindrances: Habit (minor, smoking), Quirk (always has to have a cigarette in his mouth during combat)
Gear: Fatigues, Load Bearing Equipment, Helmet, Flak Vest, M16 Rifle, Grenades, Fighting Knife, Deck of Cards, Cigarettes, Lighter

Fireteam 2 Troop Quality D8/Morale D8
1x Grenadier – M79 Grenade Launcher
2x Riflemen – M16 Rifle

Local Force Viet Cong Troop Quality: D6/Morale: D8

4x Local Force Viet Cong – Rifles


While passing a village along their route everyone in the patrol – except 2Lt. Haverford – spotted four Vietnamese running towards the village.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Patrol on the road in the distance. Four (suspected) Local Force VC heading towards the village.

Lt. Haverford, despite not actually spotting the suspected VC, called it in and ordered his troops to advance towards the village to investigate.

The Troops arrive at the village.

Eventually the locals were corralled up and the village was searched… and then searched again… The second time around they found a concealed pit inside one of the huts that dropped into the darkness. Sgt. Thomas and his fireteam were ordered to investigate and Lt Haverford called for some engineers.

At the bottom of the 10 ft deep 2’x2’ shaft they found a 2’ wide x 3’ tall horizontal tunnel which Thomas followed. After a couple of turns they found the tunnel opened into a room of sorts where Thomas spotted some people. Thomas and his team broke contact without a shot fired and fell back to the tunnel entrance. Thomas went back in with a smoke grenade and with a stunning throwing skill check (there were many raises involved) from the first corner, bounced it around the second corner and right into the room. HE again retired to the entrance and the tunnel was covered up with some mats.

Meanwhile, just outside the village, at the edge of the woods where Sgt. Malone’s team was checking out at trail, Sgt. Malone spotted smoke coming from a bush and discovered a ventilation shaft. He shoved another smoke grenade in there and then plugged it.

Very shortly after four skinny young men were at the tunnel entrance calling to be let out and trying to surrender. A small cache of weapons and supplies was discovered when the smoke cleared out of the tunnel. The Engineers eventually arrived and blew up the tunnel and the VC prisoners were hauled off.

Christian wrote his own After Action Report for 2Lt. Haverford:

Patrol Report - 1 Pl - 12 May 1965

2LT William Haverford IV, Platoon comannder - C/S Gridiron 1

This is a typed version of what I have already passed on to you and the OPS O.  Please excuse my poor typeing.

1. Mission - 1 Platoon was told to patrol the area of grids 4732, 4832, 4731, and 4831.  Establish ptterns of life, establish good relations with the local local people, and establish the enemy in the area.

2. CONOPS - I decided to take the platoon and traverse the area on foot so I could see the enemy locals and other locals and their villages and huts and infrastructures.  The platoon maintained security at all times, and used flankers throughout.

3.  Route - see att maps.

4.  Terrain - The area is mostly flat and is cut by roads which are above expensive rice patty networks.  There are 3 villages and in the north of the AO is some jungle with rising ground and jungle foilage.

4.  Local Activity/Patterns of Life:  The village at grid 476 328 is called KIM DONG.  There are approx 200 people living there.  They report no VC or communist activity.  The village is surrounded by open feilds and rice pattys, and the locals there seem favorable towards the American Way of Life.   The mayor's name is NOM NUYEN.  The village at grid 480311 is called FAP DONG, with about 350 people, similar to KIM DONG.  The locals there are friendly and seemed happy to see the troopers and men.   The Mayor there is named BIN HYUP.   This village has many Oxen and a temple.

5.  Enemy Activity:  Approaching the village of BEN GWA I spotted four armed locals armed with rifles and arms.  They proceeded into the village.  Rallying and organasing the platoon I led the platoon accrss the rice pattys and a stream before the village.  There was no sign of the armed locals, just unarmed with rice locals.  I gathered the villagers in the center and I searched them and talked to the village mayor whose name is CAN VONG.  He said "No VC" and "very happy".  I think my interpreter is a VC because he said way less than the mayor, but I don't speak Vietnamese and it could be very long.  His name is BIN TRANG.  The troops were reacting to my direction and I told them to search the huts in the village.  The village has about 100 people, some of who might be VC simpathisers because of the hole, see below.  I found a hole with 2 Fireteam.  It was in the floor.  I immediately sent a SITREP and led Fireteam 1 into the tunnel by directing SGT THOMAS down the hole.  He found VC, and retreated from them.  So I pulled back Fireteam 1 and ordered a smoke grenade into the hole.  Also SGT MOLONE found an airhole inthe trail and threw a smoke into it.  As a result of the platoons brave actions and calm leadership I took 4 VC prisoners, which were loaded into a helicopter and turned over to the MPs for interrorgating.  It must be noted that SGT MOLONE was the one who found the hole as well as the other hole and smoked it too.  I have commanded him for his good behavior and if he keeps it up he may win a medal as well.  The engineers found 230 pounds of rice and some ammuntiotn and four rifles and no int.  And a lamp.  The mayor CAN VONG told BIM TRANG that the VC made them host the hole and give them some rice, but he said "No VC" so I believe that he is a VC presence in the area, but I gave him some rations anyway, and he said "very happy" from BIN TRANG.  Oh yes, a boy ran away into the jungle, but I was able to miss him, for which I am glad.

7.  Reccomendations - I reccomend that AMERICAN forces regularly patrol BIEN GWA and look for VD and holes.  Also, BIM TRANG is maybe a VC and should be interrorgated, or learn more AMERICAN.  Also, I reecommend that ENGINEER asets be att to every patrol that might encounter a VC holee.
        a.  Patrols should carry more flashlights and pistols for tunnel fighting.
        b.    It would be useful to carry field phones on patrol for hole useage.
        c    Also, gas grenades.
        d.    It is clear that the VC is conducting operations on the AO of the patrol area, and therefore we should try and americanize the population of local Vietnamese locals. 
        e.  I suggest that the Veitnamese kids be taught football in their schools, so they will be more AMERICAN.  If directed, I will lazon with the local teachers and.  For this I will require more footballs.  I will talk to the QUARTER MASTER.

7.  Also, FAP DONG and KIM DONG do not seem to be VC and are nice to AMERICANS, they can be trusted so far.  The VC seem to be using the jungle to dig tunnels.  We should look for more holes in the jungle and smoke them.

8.  In closing, I believe that 1 PLATOON is the example of AIRBORNE spirit, and I will continue to lead them down the field for the big win so we can follow GEN WILLIAMSONS orders to be home by CHRISTMAS.

9.  Thanks.


1 BN 503 PIR

Coming soon on Savage Timmy’s Playhouse Blog:

Perhaps some character backgrounds for Cpl. Gerry “Gums” Malone, Cpl. Jerome Thomas, and 2Lt. Haverford… and then a report of next week’s activities….? 

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