Vietnam: 1965-1975 – “Highlanders” (Scenario)


Highlanders – A New Scenario for Vietnam: 1965-1975


The Quest to Control the Central Highlands

Vietnam: 1965-1975 - Scenario

This article contains a new scenario for Victory Games 1984 title Vietnam: 1965-1975. This scenario is not based on any historical Vietnam action or operation, but is meant to provide a fresh introduction to this great game. Unlike many of the original scenarios, it contains some of the strategic aspects of the game as well as providing a challenging and unique operational situation. A few entirely new ideas and victory conditions have been thrown in as well. It is designed to be played to completion in a single sitting, which eradicates the only remaining legitimate reason for not giving this game a try.The Situation
The NLF have decided to make a major push in the Central Highlands, hoping to be able to build upon success there and expand their drive down to the South Central Coastal area, and the populous Binh Dinh province. US Intelligence has caught wind of a pending enemy operation but, lacking  any specific information regarding the objectives or the forces assigned, MACV HQ must make their best guess of enemy intentions and deploy friendly forces accordingly.  US/ARVN friendly towns in Kontum province have been threatened with NVA/VC reprisals and ARVN commanders have been targeted for capture or assassination. The outcome of this deadly contest will decide the allegiance of the Highlanders for years to come…Click here to  download scenario instructions and tables in PDF format.

Setup

This scenario begins with the 1st Game Turn of Summer 1966 and ends with the 2nd Game Turn of Summer 1966; it lasts two turns. The play area includes Kontum and Binh Dinh provinces, Laos and Cambodia. Only the northern map, which includes the General Record Track, is required.

There are no fixed starting forces in this scenario. The US player is allowed to spend a certain amount of US Commitment and ARVN supplies to build forces as he sees fit. The NLF player may spend NVA commitment and VC supplies to do the same. Both players secretly allocate their Commitment/Supplies at the same time. However, the US/ARVN player must deploy units first.

1. Turn 1 Purchases– Both players secretly record Turn 1 expenditures on their Highlanders Scenario Record Sheet. Each player should refer to the correct Unit Charts for valid purchases and Turn 1 costs. Commitment/Supplies available at the start are as follows:

  • US Commitment = 15
  • ARVN Supplies =  28
  • NVA Commitment = 10
  • VC Supplies = 12
Note: For both ARVN and VC, ignore “Personnel” costs mentioned in the game rules. Only Supply Points matter in this scenario.

When both players declare they are done recording Turn 1 expenditures, no further changes may be made. Proceed to the next step.

2. US Deployment – The US/ARVN player may deploy purchased units anywhere in Binh Dinh or Kontum provinces. US Air, US Airmobile, US Riverine, and US and ARVN Replacement Point markers are placed on the General Record Track, as necessary.

3. Assign ARVN Leaders – If any ARVN forces have been deployed, leaders must be chosen. For each ARVN division, or part thereof, randomly select a Division Commander (1-Star General) to command it. Each general must initially be placed in the same hex with at least one of their divisional units. If any non-divisional ARVN units (i.e. independent battalions and artillery) have been deployed, a Corps Commander (2-Star General) must be randomly chosen to command them. The Corps Commander can be placed in the same hex with any ARVN or US unit on the map.

4. Perform ARVN Effectiveness Check – For each ARVN leader, roll one 6-sided die (for Corps Commander ONLY, subtract 1 from the die roll). If the leader’s rating is greater than or equal to this number, then the units under his command are “effective” for the Game Turn. Otherwise they are “ineffective” (see the game rules for the effects of this condition). Turn ineffective leader counters over so that only their ineffective side is face up (i.e the side with only the 1-star or 2-star indicator, without the rating number).

5. NLF Deployment – The NVA/VC player may deploy purchased units anywhere in Laos, Cambodia or Kontum province only (may NOT initially deploy in Binh Dinh). NVA and VC Replacement Point markers are placed on the General Record Track, as necessary.

6. NLF Selects Reprisal Target – The NLF player must now secretly choose, and record on the Highlanders Scenario Record Sheet, one town in Kontum province as their “Reprisal Target” (either Kontum, Pleiku or Dak To). This town will be an important victory objective.

7. Play Game Turn 1 – Begin and play Game Turn normally (however, see “Special Rules”, below).

8. Game Turn 1 Scoring – When Game Turn is complete, each player scores the Game Turn using the “Turn 1 Scoring (VP)” column on their Victory Point Schedule.


Game Turn 2

Vietnam: 1965-1975

1. Turn 2 Purchases – Both players now secretly record Turn 2 expenditures on their Highlanders Scenario Record Sheet. Only Commitment and Supplies not spent on Game Turn 1 are available to spend now. Each player should again refer to the Unit Charts for valid purchases and Turn 2 costs (note that Turn 2 costs are double the Turn 1 costs). When both players declare they are done recording Turn 2 expenditures, no further changes may be made. Proceed to the next step.

2. US Deployment – Newly purchased US ground units may enter the play area via any northern border hex (i.e. the I Corps/II Corps border) that is not enemy occupied or in Qui Nhon city if not enemy occupied. Newly purchased ARVN units may enter the map via any road hex in South Vietnam that enters the play area (hexes 5634, 5436, 4435, 5324, 4824, 3922), if not enemy occupied. Units are placed directly on one of these border hexes and begin movement from there. Newly purchased US Air, US Airmobile, US Riverine, and US and ARVN Replacement Point markers are placed on the General Record Track, if necessary.

3. Assign ARVN Leaders – If any new ARVN leaders are required, due to the purchase of new divisional units, or the initial purchase of non-divisional units, choose and place leaders exactly as in Game Turn 1.

4. ARVN Effectiveness – Perform ARVN effectiveness check again for all existing and newly placed ARVN leaders.

5. NLF Deployment – The NVA/VC player may deploy purchased units anywhere in either Kontum or Binh Dinh provinces. Newly purchased NVA and VC Replacement Point markers are placed on the General Record Track, as necessary.

6. Play Game Turn 2 – Begin and play Game Turn 2 normally (again referring to “Special Rules”, below).

7. Game End Scoring – When Game Turn is complete, complete Game End Scoring (see Victory Point schedules).


Special Rules

    • Skip the Strategic Movement Phase in Game Turn 1 (gives NLF surprise advantage). Perform this Phase in Game Turn 2 normally.
vietnam_sc1_fig5
    • ARVN Rangers – Rangers are purchased and used normally. However, for combat assignment, treat as if there are 5 Rangers in play (i.e. all available Rangers can be assigned to an operation on an unmodified six-sided die roll of 1 to 5. Restrictions on placement (i.e. one Ranger per operating unit hex) still apply.
vietnam_sc1_fig3
  • ARVN Leaders – In this scenario, ARVN leaders actually appear on the map. Leaders move along with the unit they are “attached” to when placed. They may never end movement in the same hex with another ARVN leader, and they must remain attached to a subordinate unit (or U.S. unit, in the case of the Corps Commander) for the entire scenario. If they end up alone in a hex they are considered captured/assassinated for victory point purposes.

Winning the Game

To prevent players from trying radical strategies, such as saving all their commitment/supply points for use on turn 2 or for conversion to victory points at game end (i.e. effectively spending nothing and deploying no units at all), victory points are earned after each Game Turn. A player who does not play aggressively in Game Turn 1 will incur such a large victory point deficit they’ll never be able to dig out of it during scoring at the end of the scenario.

At the end of Game Turn 1, calculate scores based on the “Turn 1 Scoring (VP)” column on their Victory Point Schedule. Again, at the end of Game Turn 2 (and the scenario), follow the “Game End Scoring (VP)” Victory Point schedule. The winner is the player with the most victory points.

NOTE: SCENARIO VICTORY CONDITIONS ARE STILL BEING PLAY TESTED and may be amended in the near future. Please email feedback, comments or suggestions to The Boardgaming Life. We’d love to hear from you.

Highlanders Scenario Record Sheet – US/ARVN

US/ARVN Unit Chart 1st TURN 2nd TURN
US Starting Commitment 15
US Expenditures Cost: Turn1 / Turn 2
Any Battalion 1 / 2
Headquarters 1 / 2
2 x 105mm Artillery 1 / 2
1 x 155mm Artillery 1 / 2
2 x 175mm Artillery 3 / 6
3 Air Points 1 / 2
2 x Airmobile Points 1 / 2
1 Riverine Point 1 / 2
3 Replacement Points 1 / 2
7 SVN Military Supplies 1 / 2
Cruiser 1 / 2
Battleship 3 / 6
Total US Commitment Spent:
US Commitment Remaining:
ARVN Starting Supply 28
ARVN Supply Recv’d from US
ARVN Expenditures Cost: Turn1 / Turn 2
Infantry Regiment 2:3 / 4:6
Division Headquarters 3:2 / 6:4
Armored Cavalry Squadron 1:1 / 2:2
Armored Battalion 1:1 / 2:2
1 x 105mm Artillery 4 / 8
1 x 155mm Artillery 7 / 14
1 x 175mm Artillery 11 / 22
4 Replacement Points 2 / 4
Ranger Group 9 / 18
3 Infantry Battalions 2:2 / 4:4
Total ARVN Supply Spent:
ARVN Supply Remaining (Starting Supply + Supply Recv’d from US – Expenditures):

US/ARVN Victory Point Schedule
Condition/Event Turn 1 Scoring (VP) Game End Scoring (VP)
Unspent US Commitment 3 each
Unspent ARVN Supply 1/4 each
VC Unit Eliminated/Dispersed 1 each
NVA Unit Eliminated 2 each
No NLF Units in Kontum Province 5 5
No NLF Units in Binh Dinh Province 5
“Reprisal Target” Not NLF Controlled 10
No ARVN Leaders Captured/Killed 10
US Repl Point Expended 3

Highlanders Scenario Record Sheet – NVA/VC

“Reprisal Town”
Enter Town Name:

NVA/VC Unit Chart 1st TURN 2nd TURN
NVA Starting Commitment 10
NVA Expenditures Cost: Turn1 / Turn 2
Regiment 3:2 / 6:4
Division Headquarters 1 / 2
Artillery 2 / 4
3 Replacement Points 1 / 2
6 VC Military Supplies 1 / 2
Total NVA Commitment Spent:
NVA Commitment Remaining:
VC Starting Supply 12
VC Supply Recv’d from NVA
VC Expenditures Cost: Turn1 / Turn 2
Battalion 2 / 4
Regiment 10 / 20
Division Headquarters 6 / 12
3 Replacement Points 3 / 6
Political Section (max 2 per turn) 0
Total VC Supply Spent:
VC Supply Remaining (Starting Supply + Supply Recv’d from NVA – Expenditures):
NVA Unit Chart costs such as “3:2” indicate a cost of 3 to create the unit and a cost of 2 to upgrade the unit to its “augmented” (or mechanized) side. Or the unit can be purchased augmented for a cost of 5 (see game rules if any additional clarification is required).

NLF Victory Point Schedule
Condition/Event Turn 1 Scoring (VP) Game End Scoring (VP)
Unspent NVA Commitment 2 each
Unspent VC Supply 1/4 each
Captured/Killed ARVN Leaders 10 each
NLF Occupies “Reprisal Target” 10 15
Other Town Occupied by NLF 2 each 1 each
Qui Nhon city Occupied by NLF 5 10
Cultivated Hex Occupied by NLF 2 each 1 each
US Counter Eliminated 5 each
US Repl Point Expended 3