The NVA company command stand performs exactly the same function as it's US counterpart. If within 1 stand width, it may assist squads of it's own company attempting to rally or engaged in close combat. The Company Command stand also controls the activities of unattached heavy machine guns and is the only command stand capable of organising a Crossfire with these weapons. Similarly, the Company Command stand is the only command stand that can assist unattached HMG's in rallying or close combat.
Whilst the Company Command stand is not able to initiate direct or reactive fire it may, if engaged in close combat, defend itself as a fire team - this represents the small staff attached to the company commander.
The NVA Company HQ can also have an attached political cadre (in effect, a commissar). This is represented by a single figure on a base 1" wide x 1.5” deep. Highly motivated and thoroughly indoctrinated, the political officer is responsible for the political education and morale of the troops. Since they were invariably well known and respected by the troops of the Company, the political cadre may assist any squad attempting to rally by adding +2 to the squads rally dice throws. Whilst the cadre is an extremely useful stand in that it extends the control of the company commander, it is nonetheless particularly vulnerable. If hit by fire that results in anything other than a pin result, the stand is eliminated. Similarly, it is automatically eliminated if engaged in close combat without having a friendly squad within one stand width (Crossfire rule 8.2).
In spite of initial appearances, the NVA Recon squad is not simply another rifle squad. The normal movement restrictions that apply to NVA forces - a squad must have LOS to its PCG if it wishes to move and although it may end the move out of LOS of its PCG it may not move again until LOS is re-established - does not apply to the Recon squad. In effect, it operates like US LRRP stands and is, for purposes of movement, completely independent of it's command group.
This freedom of movement affords the NVA commander great latitude, since unless it is stopped by reactive fire, this squad is capable of traversing the whole battlefield in a series of move actions spanning a single initiative phase. From their own baseline, the Recon squad could, theoretically, appear in your rear area and attack mortar positions, company/battalion command HQs, battalion aid stations, resupply points and so forth - all in the space of one initiative. The imperative for the Free World player when confronted by Recon Squads (and the NVA battalion has an entire Platoon of these!) must be flank security.
However, the very freedom of movement enjoyed by the Recon squad is also what presents it with it's greatest danger. Since they will invariably be operating without the support of a command group, they are constantly vulnerable to close combat in which they would receive no command stand bonus.
All figures are from my own personal collection, painted and photographed by Mike R © 2001