After a long spell, we played today Sniper! the second scenario of Surf's Up, the companion book to Charlie Don't Surf, the TooFatLardies Vietnam-era rules for company size actions. The game was a total disaster for the Vietcong player (who, by the way, it was me), losing the game on both fronts, the military and the political.
This scenario sees a local VC force (one platoon) versus a full US Infantry company. The VC is on a security mission in a village defending some rice and weapons caches, and owning a small tunnel network. The objective was to maintain the tunnel network intact (20 points) and as a secondary objective to keep at least one cache safe (10 points)
The US orders (main objective with 20 points) were to round up and relocate the villagers and to destroy the hamlet; a secondary objective was to find and destroy any food or weapons stored in the area.
As you see the VC player has a very weak force in this scenario and must fight a delaying action supported with two snipers while he must avoid the US finding the tunnels.
The following map shows the initial deployment in blinds and the location of the tunnel (yellow strip on the right):
The game went wrong for the VC from the very beginning. I was expecting the US player to enter north or south, so I deployed two dummy Blinds on the left and the main force on the right next to the tunnel. Instead, the US player enter from the left edge with the idea of sweeping the table west to east.
As expected my dummy Blinds were spotted after the third turn and even if I could deploy one of my snipers, the first time it shot got a "double 2", which in terms of the rules mechanism means that it disappeared from the game.
Second mistake I made was to entering into panic and moved the main force into the tunnel, with the idea of exiting the table through my tactical side (south edge). This had two consequences: I left the the field open to the American player and I gave him a very clear indication of the existence of a tunnel network and its location...really stupid on my side.
So the rest of the game went with the the American player quietly strolling around, almost unmolested from my second sniper (who got just one kill) burning houses...
...rounding up villagers and concentrating them in the LZ for airborne relocation...
... and even taking a prisoner alive (a wounded local VC) that was medivaced to the main base.
With the caches put on fire and the tunnel about to be discovered, I conceded defeat in my worst performance in a game in years!
Decisive Military victory (30 points) and clear political victory (10 points) to the US player.