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Jul 31, 2012

Young Urchin

(Courtesy Katzenmaus)

Welcome back to Vietnam, troops. As some of you will know already, this game takes no prisoners. (Metaphorically. You really gently caress things up if the VC capture you.) You control a grunt with a rifle, a competence rating of 1-5,and an attribute that ranges from Coward to Crack Shot. I suggest you worry less about achieving your mission and more about surviving until you are eligible to return from overseas.

This campaign will be continuing on from Grey Hunter's original campaign. Because you Aussies were a disgrace to the dominions, replacements have been requested from the Marine Corps, so one squad now draws from their pool. You've also been pulled back from the front lines into II Corps, where you have (slightly) less chance of running into the NVA and might even get opportunities to take on the rag-tag local VC forces.

Sometimes the NVA dodge your every move, and sometimes a full goddam platoon appears from the bushes...

FNG is a turn based miniatures wargame with groups activating based on a dice roll. On a turn, your troop can move 8" and shoot/do another action. (Check the link above to see how to play as an individual) HOWEVER, the big feature is the reaction system, where troops act reflexively in a firefight. Just because you walk into sight of the bad guys, doesn't mean you will get the first shot. When you encounter the enemy, all units involved take a test (the 'in sight' test) that determines who gets their shots off fastest. If you are on the receiving end of the fire, you might have to take recieved fire, man down, cohesion or knock down tests to determine whether you carry on fighting, duck back into cover or run away. This continues until everyone is either dead, in cover or gone. I will hopefully be automating most of these reactions, but where there are many options, I will allow you to select targets.

Other than that, just about anything can happen, including reinforcements, storms, tunnel systems, lulls in the fighting, air support and random artillery fire.

Young PTE Jaguars! & friend narrowly survive a stuff-up with a grenade launcher

Signing on
Post the following:
  • A picture for your troop chit. If you want to supply a 50x50px crop, that would be very helpful too.
  • ANZAC/USMC:ANZAC troops are from Australia and New Zealand. They operate in squads of up to ten and are armed with SLRs, M-16s and SMGs. USMC have a different structure, with up to 13 troops in a squad. They are armed with a mix of semi-auto and auto M-14s and are issued with flak jackets. They are also very slightly more likely to roll a higher rep.
  • Officer/Other Ranks:There are two officers in the platoon- the Platoon leader and the forward observer (Artillery controller). The first PL will be ANZAC, but succeeding officers may be USMC. As for the rank & file, there are a few specialist positions (see next post), but once they are filled, everyone else who enlists goes on the replacement list as a grunt.
  • Enlist/Reenlist: If you are a newcomer, Enlist. You'll get a randomly generated troop on a 12 month tour. However, if you were in the original game, you have the option of playing your original grunt. You'll get the same stats and DEROS date, and once you complete your tour, you can retire or apply for a second tour if you like. The platoon will start with a mix of old and new players.

For the main leadership positions (Plt leader, Plt sergeant, Squad leaders), please only take these positions if you know you can post regularly.

Posting orders

It's clearest to chuck the map into a paint program, crop it a bit, and draw a nice bright line where you're going. For simple orders you may simply describe what you want to do. I will do my best to interpret your orders, but in a platoon turn, you've probably got about two miniutes of my attention before I go with what I think you're trying to do and move to the next guy's orders.

As we know, goons sometimes get a little anal retentive when given wargame scenarios. I liked Grey's idea of post once per move but it didn't work very well in practise. So the new command and control rule is: Once the mission has started, you may not draw anyone else on your orders map. You can describe as much as you wish via text. If you are leading a group, you may instead opt to draw a single 8" straight arrow indicating a direction or put two marks indicating objectives for your troops.

If you go inactive, you'll move with the squad and be placed on leave at the end of the mission until such time as you are ready to play again.

So welcome to the jungle, FNG. Keep your head down and try to learn how to soldier before you catch a bullet!


Jul 31, 2012

Young Urchin

The Platoon:
Here is the platoon order of battle:

To start with, Leaders, 2ICs, Officers, Medic and RTOs are on a first come-first served basis.

You may swap people between positions before a mission. Organizing the platoon is traditionally the province of the Platoon sergeant, although the LT can make appointments and I have no objection to other ranks negotiating a swap as long as I am supplied with the complete new OOB before the mission starts.
The weapons and positions are fixed, you can't take the machine gun with you if you get put in charge of a squad or made into platoon Medic.

Command structure:

Troops 4" from each other are considered to be a group under command of a leader. The highest ranker is the leader even if he sucks and the 2IC is much better. If there's no leader in the group, the guy with the highest rep becomes leader.

The Lieutenant commands the platoon as a whole. He directs the position of each squad in a battle. He doesn't command individual soldiers in battle. The specialized troops in his HQ have a random chance of appearing in the battle and can stay with him or be delegated to the sections.

The Platoon Sergeant is the 2IC. He takes over if the LT isn't available or can be delegated to lead groups. They also generally are responsible for training, prisoners, ammo, personnel and other exciting things.

The Forward Observer (FO) is the other officer in the platoon but he is responsible for fire support, not commanding troops.

The Medic and Radio Telephone Operators (RTOs) are specialized troops that have a random chance of appearing on each mission. The FO's RTO is only rolled if the FO is on the board. The officers carry their own radios if no RTOs are present.

Section commanders are in charge of a section of troops. They are responsible for getting to the objectives set by the LT and for controlling the fire teams. ANZAC sections split organically into two and USMC into three, but you may split your troops any way you like. They hold Corporal rank. Section and squad are used interchangeably.

Section second in charges come to the fore when the section splits into fireteams or when the Seco gets blatted. They try and carry out whatever fireteam mission their section commander sets. They are lance corporals.

Grunts are ultimately responsible for their own actions, regardless of orders. Your troop will go wherever you say they will, try not to trigger an ambush and get everyone killed. Your position in the platoon does not carry command authority, a rifleman is equal with a M-60 gunner, a medic and so on.

The main stats for weapons are the range and the number of targets they can engage in a turn. For example, a troop with an M-60 can fire up to five bursts. However, if the shooter tries to fire at multiple targets more than 1" apart, one point of target rating is lost. There are also blast radius weapons. There is also an impact stat that means that larger caliber weapons generally hit harder.

Leaders carry smoke grenades. Other section stores that may be supplied include: torches, flares and wire cutters. You are also considered to have canteens, webbing belts and other standard issue items if you need them. Flak Jackets help prevent injuries but reduce normal move by 1" and fast move by 2".

Support includes reinforcements, artillery & mortars, helicopters and aircraft. There are two varieties: Ready support and On-Demand. Ready support arrives quickly after you successfully radio headquarters. On-demand support has an extra step where HQ might refuse your request.

What you can actually get depends on your support level. At level 1, you might get a medevac or mortars, level 6 has all sorts of lovely equipment on standby. The Enemy Activity Level (EAL) greatly affects the VC behaviour and force strength too.

After each mission, objectives are toted up to see how well things went. Command decides your reward or punishment, which is usually to do with replacements or rep increases. Soldiers can receive rep increases, a new ability or medals. The fate of the wounded is determined as well. Towards the end of their tours, short timers also start to lose rep! Finally, to give replacements a chance to get on the board, there'll only be one mission a month.

Our campaign is a mix of randomly generated and planned missions. Before the planned ones you will have some choices to make. The LT makes the final decision.

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