Hello everyone. I have a few thoughts if everyone will indulge me for a moment.
- Dien Bien Phu is also near and dear to my heart and would be a really
fun game if done correctly and you only have to use some French since
the French Foreign Legion made a heroic last stand at the fort. :)
@zedeyejoe - How do you judge the strengths and weaknesses of a particular army? In this case you mention the Vietnamese being a vastly inferior force to the US but they won the conflict and united the country. Although, ironically if you ask some Vietnamese today they will say the US won the 'war' because of the huge influence America has on its culture. If you look at casualty reports and in some instances the types of weapons the VC used compared to the US then I would say you might be right but their ability to adapt and use the resources they had forced the US into a prolonged conflict which resulted in the US withdrawing.
@potter - I only speak for myself when I say that wargaming for me is a way of showing respect for all parties involved in the conflict. I spend hours and hours researching the wars, collecting the appropriate miniatures, assembling them, and ensuring they are painted correctly. My reward is getting together with my friends and playing a game but we never insult the people, places, and things that are involved in our games. I also reenact the American Revolution and American Civil War, which again to me shows a huge amount of respect for the people involved in those wars.
What a Vietnam War game offers is a completely different look at how we wargame historical conflicts. Yes, there are some straight up fights that could be played out and some rather large tank battles as well but if you want to get the feel of Vietnam then you have to play a different game. I think Charlie Company by RAFM has the right idea but having played it several times some of the rules mechanics just don't play well. When you are playing at a patrol (platoon) level game wandering in the jungle looking for the enemy there needs to be an element of roleplay. Charlie Company does that well with the "Game Master" playing the role of the Vietnamese (VC & PAVN) establishing the overall strategy, booby traps, etc. before the players even hit the dirt. If you have a poor GM then you have a poor game. I personally think that Vietnam has a huge potential for gaming ideas just not your traditional stand up and shoot.
Thanks for reading