Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Charlie Don't Hex - '65 AAR

My experience in the wargaming hobby has, for the most part, only dealt with miniatures. While these games are played on the tabletop with rules for movement dictated by tape measures or other distance measuring devices, some use squares or hexes.

However, there's a whole genre of wargames that, up until know, I've mostly ignored - hex and counter. I've dabbled a bit here and there - I own a copy of OGRE and the 150th anniversary edition of Battle Cry, and have played both. But these kinds of games are mostly unknown to me, and I'm hoping to rectify that in the future.

So when Sam offered up a chance to play '65 from Flying Pig Games, I eagerly accepted.

I'd seen other games from '65 before in the local community, most notably Armageddon War, which plays out a full scaled ground war in the Middle East in the near future.

'65 focuses on squad level combat in Vietnam, with counters representing teams of infantry or single gun teams or vehicles. It's also completely diceless - shooting and assaulting is determined by drawing cards from the deck and hoping to match color designators to the "success" color noted on the original action card.

For our first game, Sam and I play Scenario 1 in the rulebook. An understrength American infantry platoon had to evict a VC force from a nearby village. To win, the Americans had to score six points; +1 point for every building hex controlled at the end of the game, and +1 point for every VC unit destroyed. The VC had to prevent this by scoring -1 for every American unit destroyed. And both sides had a secret objective they had to accomplish.

Turns in '65 are done in impulses, depending on who has the initiative (by playing a card with a higher value at the beginning of the turns). Players play a card to use one of two actions on a card, which allow a unit or a stack of units to move, shoot, rally, fire artillery, etc. Some cards allow reactions, like retreating from an assault, or decreasing the amount of firepower or wounds a unit takes.

By the end of the game (7 turns), the VC had been reduced to a single wounded RPD unit, surrounded by Americans. Tallying up the points, however, revealed that the American had failed to meet their objective, only scoring 2 out of the required six.

It was a fun game, and I'm hoping to play some more in the future. There are plenty more scenarios, and I'd like to revisit this a couple more times - once as the Americans, and another as the VC, when Sam and I have a better handle on the rules.

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