At last! After several months of delay, we gathered in our local club to play a first test game of the TooFatLardies Vietnam rules Charley Don't Surf. And what a fantastic game it was! As a test field, we chose the first scenario of the companion book Surf's Up, in which a US infantry company must take and control a farm village, to deprive the Charlies from its daily rice supply.... but of course, the village is infested with Cong enemies.
As this was our first game, we decided to play only with the infantry section of the rules, leaving the heavy stuff (artillery support, choppers and AFVs for future engagements). It took a little while to master the rules: old habits from playing Troops, Weapons and Tactics played tricky. For example, you don't need to attach Big Men to squads to reduce shock levels, it is enough to be in the line of sight and close to enough to the command radius of the officer (much larger than in TWAT, as the guys are fully equipped with radios) .
Also we discovered (late!) that the firing tables are significantly bloodier than the ones used for WW2 (obviously, the difference is firepower is abysmal!!). Some of these mistakes were solved while playing, some after the game when I fully re-read the rules.
The use of Vietcong fighters is also another element to review in detail. Tactics are totally different to that of the US troops and also to the ones I'm more familiar with (mainly WW1 & WW2). While the ambush rules proved to be very effective, it is a very bad idea to remain in the same spot for long... better to hit and run (...like hell) and use all the potential of the DiDi Mau card, that allow any unit on the table to return to blind or a blind to conceal.
The scenario included the use of civilians; we though that to be not very important ... a mistake again. The US forces are restricted in using area fire and artillery (when we introduce this part of the rules in the game) at leisure when civilians are around (and they also move randomly).
All in all, we had a really great time and all players. 4 hours playing and everybody felt that time past really fast... so eagerly we were left to repeat a game. that tomorrow Tuesday (a national holiday in Spain) a second game has been hastily organised.
In the meantime, I include here some photos on Saturday's game...