Things of note

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Flames of War Vietnam list

     Well first I should apologize for my long absence.  It's amazing how much life can get in the way sometime.  This past year I've been working on cracking down on my modeling ADD and promised myself to work on one project at a time.  The main focus was on my Vietnam list.  Flames of war has always been my true passion so getting to expand that into a different time period was a no brainer.  Reaching into Vietnam era allows the chance to bring in a new dimension with helicopters and more aerial action.  The only downfall to this side is they haven't really released any rules for "Blue on Blue" fighting (US vs US).  So when playing you need to insure that you'll have someone playing another force.  Of course I decided to go with an American list, and settled on an Airmobile Company, 1st Cav.  I went to 2,000 pts off the bat so I could have some options for some smaller games but would keep me on track with getting done everything at once.  I'll try not to get long winded, but my plan is to go down the list with some pics, and a small paragraph or two of why I went with them. 

     So below is the list I went with for my 2K.  Yes it comes to 2,005 but with our relaxed gaming group we allow a slight overage (5-10 pts) as long as it's not over because of a small add on that can be dropped (AA guns, sub machine gun upgrades, etc.). 

     So the command and 2IC bases are very basic.  Being in the Army 18 yrs I tried to play on the old "lost Lt" joke by putting my 2IC on the phone trying to figure out where he is.  The medic base was again a no brainer on options to take when you look at the benefits of the special rules.  Any time you can take something that will give you an extra chance for a save roll, especially at 5 points, you take it.  I tried to find a happy medium with the blood and gore.  I'm not a fan of going over the top, but still wanted to have some realism to it. 


   I filled all three options for Infantry platoons with the three squads.  I've seen some lists for Air Cav fielded and most points seem to go to air support.  Although that's a new avenue to play with Vietnam, I wanted to put more infantry on the table since the rules don't really have anything for Blue on Blue battles.  My thoughts were most of the opponents would have mass infantry and I didn't want it to turn into a game where I'm just flying around and they're spending their turns firing at me.  Of course this brings in the challenge of trying to get everything in on transports the first few turns while trying to defend the LZ from the onslaught.

     The next wasn't as easy as a choice for me as it probably was for most.  That was adding LTC Hal Moore and SGM Plumley.  Yes I've seen We Were Soldiers and even read the book the movie was based off of (We were Soldiers once, and Young).  I've even read several other books that talks about LTC Moore's time in Country and his true caring for those who served under him.  But I didn't want to be one of those people who jumped on board same as many did with Easy Company when Band of Brothers came out.  But again, in the end for 50 points, the special rules gained could not be ignored. So that being said, of course I had to model him as if he was calling in "Broken Arrow".   

     The mortar platoon was a quick decision on looking for adding another platoon cheaply.  I could have taken them as an extra option for my command, but again I was looking to bolster up the numbers of my platoons.  They seemed like the smart choice since, again, I'll be going up against throngs of infantry.  And any chance to pin some and try to control the waves coming at me, seemed like the way to go. 

     Now next up was probably my favorite to put together along with being the toughest.  And those were the transports, or the UH-1D Slicks.  With fielding 3 platoons of infantry plus mortars, I knew I had to take all 4 slicks.  This would allow me to get all troops in by turn 2 (as long as none get shot down).  I decided to try something a little different with these to make them stand out a little more.  I ordered up a couple blisters of the M113 seated passengers (VUS710) so I could deck them out.  Which actually benefited later on when I did my ACAV which I'll talk about it a bit.  With lots of grinding and sanding and some not nice words, I was able to fit 3 on each side with some sitting on the bench.  This gave them the look of being ready to jump into action as soon as the skids touched down.

     Next of course I had to have some air support so I went with the UH-1B Hogs.  They have enough fire power to keep the enemy's heads down but at only 420 pts I don't have too much tied into something that can be shot down pretty quickly if that's where my opponent focuses. 

     Next up is the Blackhorse Cav platoon.  These were pretty fun to put together and turned out better than I thought.  I'll start with a slight gripe about the ACAV are sold.  So I started buying blisters for this list when Vietnam first came out.  One of the first boxes I bought was the old resin M113 ACAV boxes.  They since then have come out with the M113 multi box (VUSBX07) that allows you to put together the M113, M113 ACAV, M125 (81mm), M106 (4.2in) & M132 Zippo.  Which actually was a great idea...except they're plastic.  Now my gripe with this is to make a full platoon you need at least 5 of the M113's, which means you need at least 2 boxes to complete it.  Fine for someone who wants to use the other 4 for a variance in other platoons, but sucks when you only need the one.  Now in my situation I was left with 4 heavier (resin) models and the one light (plastic) model.  Knowing my luck, when playing a game I'd forget which is which and go to pick up the plastic thinking it's resin and fling it half way across the table.  The solution for this was fairly easy.  I always keep a baggy with all the extra pewter flashing and bits I'm not going to use.  So a little gluing and filling with the bits and I was able to weigh down the plastic model. The other small issue I had with them as I slightly touched on before was I wanted to give them the fully decked out feel.  So since I had some of the crew from the M113 blisters, I was able to keep the hatches open and troops manning the guns.  This gave me the chance to keep the command M113 closed in the back which would also help me identify the plastic model.  The Sheridan's went together fairly easy for having a decent amount of bits.

     Now for the artillery I will admit I'm cheating a bit.  I have yet to buy the actual box of the pieces but have included them in my list.  This is mainly because the majority of missions count them as having the Fire Support Base special rule.  Eventually I'll have to buy them for when I'm playing the missions of defending the Fire base, but for now I did build the observer UH-1D, or the "Chuck Chuck".  Again, I wanted to really try to add my own little touches to this army to make it stand out.  So with the Chuck Chuck, I kept the doors closed as to give it that buttoned up feel.  I also used some of the models I had to put on either side looking out the windows for observation.  Took a bit to squeeze them in but I'm happy with how they turned out. 

     Last up on the list was the Medevac.  This was pretty straight forward.  Again, kept the doors shut to give it the feel of trying to protect the wounded in the bird.  At first I was going to keep the door open on one side and try to fit a wounded model or stretcher in, but couldn't get it all in there. 

     Of course another thing needed for every game is a good objective marker.  Although I have the flat 1st Air Cav objective markers I also painted up the downed slick.  As a rib on one of my fellow gamers who is playing the ANZAC list since he's big on Australians and plays them for WWII, I had it painted up as a downed ANZAC slick so I could come to the rescue. 

     So I ended up painting up some other stuff since I was on the kick.  Eventually I might rotate some of this stuff in or keep it for larger battles.  So here's all the bonus extras:

     First up are the Loaches.  These are a fun little model and pretty easy to put together.  And being able to observe for the Hog's is pretty nice also.

     And for the days that I want to put some heavy fire power in the air, I had to paint up some cobras.  I kept them with the basic setup as I felt that would be enough punch.

   Lastly I want to put a shoutout to a pretty cool website I came across online one day.  I requested a custom bag to hold my dice and tokens and he was able to get it done quickly.  It measures 4.33 X 7.48 inches and has the 1st Cav symbol on both sides.  I strongly recommend everyone head over and take a look, he does custom tokens as well.  If you don't see something you're looking for, just contact him.  He can make anything for you custom:

     So that's it.  I was a little more long winded that I wanted to be as usual.  But this army was a labor of love for awhile now.  Hopefully I'll be able to actually get some games in with it soon and report on them.  Hope you enjoyed. 

                               - Justin