Ho Chi Minh Rampant

For the past month or so David Sullivan and I have been trying to get together to try out something new for our Vietnam figures. Yesterday, we are able to do finally do it, and we had it out on the table using Xenos Rampant as the basis for our game.

We had been using Arc of Fire. Honestly, we like the mechanics of the rules, but unless you want to do something like direct fire with small arms, they are just sort of impenetrable and we can’t seem to keep our nose out of the rule book. Looking. And looking some more.

But Xenos Rampant = Lion Rampant = Rebels and Patriots = Daniel Mersey and his acolytes = we know our way around these rules.

After looking at the obligatory unit types included in the rules, we each cobbled together a force of 24 points. David chose from his North Vietnamese regulars and I chose from my U.S. Marines. We both stuck with infantry and agreed not to allow for the fire support option which would have allowed for indirect fire support. We also agreed the Marines and NVA were, according to the rules heavy infantry. Meaning these were troops most likely to shoot it out rather than shoot and scoot. We agreed that Viet Cong would be, in accordance with the rules, likely be light infantry. MACV, SEAL teams and Special Forces types would likely be Elite troops.

We each went a different direction with selecting troop types. Though both of us chose heavy infantry units, David gave his troops embedded heavy weapons for a couple of extra points. We considered the heavy weapons as light machine guns. These have some advantages and disadvantages. An advantage is that a hit roll of “6” does two points of damage. However, it’s limited by the standard of the infantry’s 18″ optimal shooting range. Just to be clear, any weapon has an unlimited range, and suffers a penalty beyond the optimal.

A look down the table at my positions. You can see my first M-60 position, an infantry squad and a few more guys down the table.

I chose the support weapon option for the squad M-60’s. This makes them separate, small units. It also gives them an optimal range of 24″, meaning they hit better under 24″ This was problematic because we never got within 24″ despite lots of terrain to obstruct line of sight. When the rubber hit the road, David’s option was best for his LMG’s because rolling 6’s did so much more damage AND his LMG’s couldn’t be targeted. They were just part of the unit.

My sniper team. All figures by Gringo 40s

We also each took an additional weapon. David opted for a DsHk heavy machine gun and I opted for a sniper team. Both were unpleasant for the other side. Snipers are recon infantry. The Dushka is a support weapon.

A quick look at the table. A village surrounded by cover.

The mechanics of the game were easy. Like The Men Who Would Be King, each unit type had some free actions, if movement or shooting wasn’t “free” they had to be activated. Unfortunately, I know I didn’t activate some things in retrospect. For example, the sniper gets to move freely, but has to activate on a die roll of 7 or greater to shoot. I don’t think I ever rolled to shoot that bad boy. Heavy infantry gets to shoot freely, but must roll to move, and I’m not sure I did. Maybe.

My lucky squad with my leader figure in their starting position. Sniper team in the background.

The scenario was a big shoot fest. We kind of set up the show to have a village surrounded by woody bits. The rules allow shooting into woods but not through both two edges of a woods, so you can’t shoot through woods to a unit on another side. Lots of shooting into cover, which makes catastrophic death harder. But there were a fair number of casualties.

Chief among these were my support weapons. They were targeted by David’s DsHk, which had a bit more to offer than my M-60. My other LMG got blasted pretty well from one of his infantry squads with the heavy weapon option. The double damage from a six die roll did ’em in.

There were lots of things we didn’t get to try. Because our range remained pretty long, we didn’t get to use the Firefight option. Gotta try that. There are other things to work out too. However, I thought the ease of play was perfect and very enjoyable game. Can’t wait to try again.

One comment on “Ho Chi Minh Rampant

  1. keith says:

    Looks to have been a fun game Kev – nice simple mechanics are mainly what I go for these days too!

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