This event took place at The Defence Academy at Shrivenham on Saturday 25 February. A multi-level Vietnam game, it was a reworked version of Paddy Griffiths's original - played 31 years earlier! The 20+ attendees included no fewer than four grizzled veterans of the original game.
As well as the umpire team (of which your correspondent was part), there was a team controlling various NVA and VC units and a (rather larger) team representing various command levels of a US battalion. What follows makes no pretence to be a full report of the game an much of my time was taken up umpiring in a fairly small part of the operational area.
Jim Wallman (left) and Tom Mouat deliver the introductory briefing. The picture of the scantily clad lady was there for 'atmosphere'. Honest.
Jim outlines the planned structure of the day.
The 'Free World' team plotting and planning. They're not getting my heart or mind.
The lavish issues of equipment included radios so that company commanders on the ground (ie- in the next room) could stay in touch with HQ. Theoretically...
|The Communist team taking a break from skulking in tunnels. A shifty looking crowd.|
NVA Battalion commander John Curry pictured as the sky turned black with US helicopters. A better caption for this photo is invited...
This may be what John was surprised by - a load of heliborne Yanks and stacks (literally) of supplies.
Bob (left) my fellow umpire explains things to US company commander Alex.
The US forces move out from their LZ.
The initial US landing came under fire from enemy small arms and mortars. As the US brought in air and artillery fire the NVA melted away to the north. An attempt to follow them led to a messy scrap which sucked in and decimated two US companies.
Part of the pleasure of staging the game at Shrivenham was the presence just outside the game rooms of 'big toys', leading to directions such as "past the M110 and turn right just after the S-tank..." I have posted photos before of the AFVs and small arms collections, but there are a few more on the way.