This is an attempt to produce a set of fast play rules for the Vietnam War during the period of US/Free World involvement, based on the Crossfire rules. The aim is to play fast and realistic games at the company/battalion level rather than the more detailed skirmish style games at the smaller unit level. Please note however that Incoming! is not a complete rule set. In order to use the Incoming! rules the players will require the Crossfire rules and the Hit the Dirt supplement published by Arty Conliffe.
Unless otherwise stated in these rules, the original Crossfire rules will take priority.
1.0 Ground/Time Scales
Ground scales (such as they are!) as per the original Crossfire Rules
Time scales: use the moving clock as detailed in the Hit the Dirt Crossfire supplement.
1.1 Figure scales and Basing
These rules are designed for squads and fire teams with a single stand of infantry representing one fire team*, allowing for a slightly lower level game than the original Crossfire rules. The smallest unit is the fire team, two or more of which combine to make up a squad. In effect a fire team is used in the same way as a squad* in the original rules.
The following units and base sizes are recommended:
* The term "Fire Team" also covers the VC/NVA use of 3-5 man cells as their smallest tactical unit. The US/ARVN/ROK squad also equates to the Australian or NZ section.
1.2 Status markers
In addition to the recommended use of squad status markers, casualty figures are used to represent casualties who may require medical evacuation or recovery for a body count and therefore need to be left on the table top as an integral part of the game.
2.0 Unit Organisation
See appendix for organisation details.
2.1 Fire Teams, Squads and Platoons
The basic fighting unit in the game is the fire team of between 3-5 men. Fire teams of the same squad/platoon operate in conjunction with each other. 2-3 Fire Teams make up a squad, and 2-3 squads make up a platoon.
2.2 Heavy Weapons
These include man portable heavy weapons such as tripod mounted machines guns of 7.62mm or larger calibres, mortars or 60 - 120mm calibre, and Recoilless Rifles (RCL) of 57mm/3.5" calibre or greater (US Bazookas etc, Soviet/Chinese SPG9 etc). Artillery pieces may be included if the scenario involves emplaced positions such as those found on firebases etc. Similar weapons mounted on vehicles or riverine vessels are dealt with in the appropriate section of the rules.
2.2.1 Attached Heavy Weapons
HMGs and Recoilless Rifles (RCL) are the most common crew served weapons. A single HMG or RCL may operate independently or may be attached to a particular platoon. A maximum of three such weapons may be attached to any one platoon. Unattached weapons may operate independently.
2.2.2 Mortars and Artillery
On table mortars of up to 60mm calibre may be moved and fired in the same way as HMGs and RCLs. Artillery pieces and mortars of greater calibre must be set up in an established firing position at the start of the game. They may not move from these positions although they may pivot as normal. 60mm Mortars may not fire in the same initiative in which they move.
Mortars and artillery may not be attached to any units below company level. These operate independently in conjunction with a Forward Observer (see section 7.0 which specifies which types of unit may function as a Forward Observer).
2.3 Command Groups
In Incoming! the term "Command Group" replaces the Crossfire term "Commanders". Command Groups represent the leaders and the personnel who control and co-ordinate the actions of the squads and heavy weapons which are directly subordinate to them in action. It includes the leaders themselves, supporting senior ncos, radio operators and runners etc. Commanders vary in their quality and therefore in their ability to assist subordinate squads. See Appendix - Organisation charts.
Battalion Command Groups function like Company Command Groups, except that they may assist any squad in their battalion.
Command Groups will be rated according to their leadership and command and control abilities and will have either a "0", "+1" or "+2" modifier for Rallying and Close Combat purposes. The higher the rating the greater the effect the command group may have on the action. The rating is a combination of the experience, personality, training and abilities of both the leader and his command group staff. The “0” rating is included to allow for poorly trained, incompetent or disliked leaders and command group staffs.
Command group ratings are determined by one of the following methods:
The ratings for the US forces are designed to reflect the fact that early in the war many of the US units had well trained and motivated leaders, with well trained, experienced and motivated soldiers. Following a period of heavy attrition amongst the ranks of junior officers and senior nco's, the quality of the leadership declined and was never rebuilt. To this was added the problems of short service nco's with little more experience than the men they were leading, poorly trained and/or inexperienced officers, and a leadership philosophy which placed more emphasis on "management" rather than "leadership". Thus early war period units will have a high level of leadership ability, whereas later war units will not. The date of 1967 is chosen as an arbitrary date, following the period of the "big battles" which saw heavy US casualties.
Australian and New Zealand command group ratings reflect the high standards of training, long service nco's, professionalism and esprit de corps which applied to the ANZAC troops throughout their deployment.
NVA/VC Main Force command groups will typically display average leadership with the majority being rated as "1". This is to reflect their consistent motivation and indoctrination coupled with sound training and political indoctrination.
Randomly Determined Ratings
Dice (1D6) for each command group prior to the start of the game. The ratings for each Command Group will apply for the duration of the game.
Allocation using the points system
The chart above shows the maximum permitted percentages for each type of command group rating. These percentages may not be exceeded.
2.3.1 Platoon Command Groups (PCGs)
All rules for PCs apply except where noted below. A PCG is required to coordinate the squad movements of all troop types as explained in Movement and Command and Control, section 4.0. The following rules apply to PCGs:
2.3.2 Company Command Groups (CCG)
All rules for CCs apply. A CCG may not fire. It may defend itself as a fire team stand if attacked in close combat.
Political Cadre - NVA and VC Mainforce Only
These troops may have a Political Cadre at company level. The political cadre is a highly motivated and indoctrinated political officer, responsible for political education and morale and usually well known and respected by the troops. They may assist any squad within the company by adding +2 to Rally dice throws. They are represented by a single figure. They are destroyed if hit by fire (suppress or kill) or if contacted by an enemy squad in close combat.
2.3.3 Killed Commanders/Destroyed Command Groups
Destroyed Platoon Command Groups
If a PCG is destroyed then it may be replaced by the methods detailed in Crossfire, at the option of the owning player. In addition a PCG which has no surviving squads may be assigned to take over command of the platoon.
2.5 Troop Quality
There are three troop quality levels: Veterans, Regular and Green troops. These equate to the following historical troop types:
Veterans - Experienced and well motivated troops, such as NVA or US Air Cavalry Troopers, who can operate effectively on the battlefield. Some of the ethnic troops employed by the US Special Forces also fall into this category.
Regular - The bulk of trained soldiers. Most of the troops will fall into this category, including US draftees from the combat units (infantry, artillery and armour), SF Mike forces etc.
Green - Inexperienced or poorly trained troops (US rear area troops, village militia etc).
The following actions are added to those available for the Phasing player:
4.0 Movement and Command and Control
The following rules reflect national command and control flexibility by determining how fire teams and attached heavy weapons may move.
US/ANZAC/ROK/NVA/VC Main Force: A Squad must have LOS to its PCG if it wishes to move. It may end the move out of LOS of its PCG but may not move again until LOS is re-established.
ARVN/SVN Militias/VC Local Forces: A Squad must have LOS to its PC if it wishes to move and must end its move within LOS of its PC.
4.0.1 Company Command Groups
Fire Teams which do not have LOS to their Platoon Command Group may operate as normal if the command and control requirements can be met by having LOS to their Company Command Group.
4.0.2 Exceptions to the normal movement and command and control rules
The following units may operate independently from their Command Groups at all times; LOS to the command group is not required (in effect they are treated as the German units in the original rules).
4.3 Terrain Features
The following extra terrain features are added to the game:
Tree Lines are treated as Bocage/Hedges/Walls
4.4 Terrain Feature Capacity/Protective Cover
Dry Paddy Fields (representing a dry paddy field with a raised dyke surrounding the field). Does not block LOS. Troops in base to base contact with the edge of the field recieve protective cover from direct fire only (representing the use of the dyke as protective cover). Troops not in contact with the edge of the field are treated as if in the open. Passable to all vehicles.
Wet Paddy Fields (representing flooded fields with crops during the rice growing season). Treated as fields for fire and LOS. Wheeled vehicles are not permitted to enter Wet Paddy Fields. Tracked vehicles may enter them but must test for bogging down each time they move or pivot. Vehicles risk bogging as follows:
Another vehicle of similar size, or a specialist recovery vehicle may assist with the recovery if it is within one base width of the bogged vehicle at the start of the player’s initiative. Assisted recovery may trigger reactive fire against the assisting vehicle. Assisted recovery will add a +1 modifier to the unbogging dice roll (+2 if a specialist recovery vehicle), however a basic dice score of 1 will always result in a permanently mired vehicle. A vehicle that is permanently mired may not be subsequently unbogged during the game.
Very Dense Jungle (particularly dense vegetation which affects movement and visibility)
Movement and visibility is restricted to one stand width per action. Direct fire is not permitted beyond this distance, although Recon by Fire is allowed. Supporting fire may be called down on speculative targets beyond the LOS.
Armoured Vehicles - Provision of shelter
Tracked armoured vehicles may provide cover for troops sheltering behind them in the following circumstances:
4.4.2 Hardpoints, Bunkers and other Structures - Camouflaged Field Defences
In built up/urban areas such as major towns etc the normal rules for bunkers etc apply. Trenches and bunkers found outside of these area however tended to be smaller and the following rules apply.
5.3 Hidden Placement
The following rule covering the use of VC/NVA camouflage is added to the hidden placement rules:
6.4 Fire Procedures - Firing Dice
For each of the firing modes one direct fire attack is adjudicated for each participating Fire Team or HMG.
6.5 Fire Effects/Results
In order to represent casualties and their effects on operations in Vietnam the Fire Effects/Results from the original Crossfire rules are replaced with the following rules:
Each shooting attack produces one of 4 possible results:
The Fire Effects are calculated in the same way as in the original Crossfire rules but "casualties" are inflicted when a stand is "killed". A "killed" stand is one where the number of casualties inflicted has rendered the stand useless for further combat.
A "killed" stand is removed from play but is replaced by one casualty marker. The casualty marker represents casualties and equipment which may have to be evacuated or recovered.
Heavy weapon stands which are killed are marked with an equipment/weapon marker in addition to a casualty marker. Captured equipment/weapon markers will add to a player's victory points.
Casualties may be removed directly from the battlefield or may be collected centrally for treatment or evacuation, in which case the markers are moved to the desired location. Casualties who are successfully evacuated will reduce the victory points for the enemy.
Free world forces may use vehicles or helicopters to remove wounded. Dust Off helicopters may carry 3 casualty markers. A truck or APC may carry 6 casualty markers. A jeep or similar may carry 1 casualty marker. VC/NVA casualties will invariably have to be carried off by their comrades.
Free World Company Aid Posts (CAP). Two medic stands may combine to form a Company Aid Post. This is a voluntary action, which may be carried out during a player's initiative. It does not activate reactive fire. The medic stands must be within 1 base width of each other in order to form a Company Aid Post. The individual medic stands are replaced by a Company Aid Post stand. Once two medic stands have combined to form a Company Aid Post then they may not revert to their original status. Once a Company Aid Post has been established and casualties are present the aid post may not move until all of the casualties have been evacuated. The presence of a Company Aid Post increases the chances of removing casualties via Dust-Off helicopter.
Dust Off helicopters are requested during a player's initiative. Throw 1D6. The score indicates the number of initiatives delay before the Dust Off arrives. Reduce the score by -2 if a company aid post is present. A score of less than one indicates the Dust-Off arrives immediately.
Medic and CAP stands are automatically eliminated if contacted in close combat.
Please note that Free World forces can be severely hampered by even a few casualties, as the need to evacuate casualties will frequently be paramount.
6.7 Recon By Fire
Recon by Fire is conducted as normal except that AFVs and helicopters may also use RBF. An ACAV, tank or gunship helicopter equipped may throw 2 dice, other troops stands and helicopters throw 1 dice.
Although all nations used snipers these rules are concerned with the use of VC/NVA snipers to attack or delay Free World troops, and with specially trained and equipped USMC snipers attached to Rifle Companies.
USMC Sniper Teams
6.9.1 Detaching Snipers
VC/NVA units may detach a sniper in order to delay and harass the enemy while the unit disengages and withdraws. The loss of a sniper may be worth considering when compared to the loss of other casualties or units. The following rules apply:
6.10 Ambush Fire
Ambush fire is conducted as per the original crossfire rules, with the addition of the following other circumstances under which the Ambush fire bonus is applicable:
An ambush attack may also be declared against an enemy stand which is passing within two stand widths of the firers ambush position as long as the target stand is either:
6.11 Recoilless Weapons, RPGs and LAWs
RPG and other similar weapons (B-40 rockets, etc) were used in both the anti-armour and anti-personnel roles by the VC and NVA. The RPG was apparently quite effective as a support weapon against infantry. To represent this the following rules are used:
An RPG stand (comprising 1 - 2 figures with an RPG launcher, a supply of RPG grenades and personal small arms) must be attached to an infantry squad or Combat Support Platoon as an integral support weapon for that unit. The RPG stand is treated as a part of that platoon or squad for movement purposes and must remain within 1 base width of at least stand from the unit at all times. It may fire in one of two ways:
An RPG or LAW stand may not fire at targets or augment the fire of a friendly stand if the target is closer than 1 stand width from the firing RPG or LAW or the unit is in close combat.
RPG/LAW stands are treated as crew served weapons if engaged in close combat and do NOT count towards numbers of stands engaged in close combat.
US troops did not appear to use the LAW/Bazooka as an anti-personnel weapon but used them to engage enemy bunkers and similar targets. The models are based in a similar manner to the VC/NVA RPG stand and fire as follows:
US LAW teams are treated as VC/NVA RPG teams in all other circumstances
All heavier RCLs are crew served weapons and are based as such. These may engage personnel targets with anti-personnel munitions.
Due to the back-blast of recoilless weapons, any recoilless weapon stand is automatically placed on the tabletop when it fires. They cannot remain hidden once they have fired. In addition, and friendly stand within
They may NOT be fired from inside bunkers or buildings.
6.12 Flame Weapons
The following flame weapons may be used. They may only fire in the Direct Fire role, Reactive Fire is not permitted to flame weapons.
Flame weapons may only be used against the following targets:
Vehicle mounted flamethrowers have a range of 1 “hand width”, manpack flamethrowers have a range of 1 base width.
Each flamethrower throws 1D6 when firing. A score of 3 or more indicates that the fire is effective. Effective fire results in:
COPYRIGHT of this material is retained by the author, Mr Barrie Lovell. Permission has been granted to download these rules for personal use but permission must be sought and granted for reproduction of these rules in any other form, electronic or otherwise. All pictures are from the personal collection of the author.
PLEASE NOTE: these rules variants are presented for use with CROSSFIRE and HIT THE DIRT both of which are Copyright of Arty Conliffe