A blog about miniatures, wargaming, and the people driven to ruin by them....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Where to Begin... Way Up North

I originally planned to jump on the blog bandwagon last year, but with selling a house, having to "stay elsewhere" for a couple of months while we plugged away at purchasing the new house, finally moving in... well, never got around to it.  So, my first post references a game I ran at our local club last year.... I titled it Way Up North.  Luckily I managed to find the photos I took from that game.

When I was doing my research for The Long Road South (our Vietnam supplement) I read of the armor woes experienced by both sides. The North in the latter part of the war made more extensive attempts to participate in armored combat, utilizing PT-76s, T-54s, plus Chinese vehicles too.

My scenario was centered around a USMC platoon, supported by an M48, encountering dug in PAVN forces when attempting a sweep through a small valley. The PAVN were able to bring up a PT-76, and a T-34/85, the latter suffering from engine troubles (it would remain immobile the entire game).

This was a "quick game" designed for fun, that allowed us to bring a few armored vehicles into a Vietnam game.   Since the PAVN did inventory T-34/85s (most that tried to move south were obliterated in air attacks... I don't know of a single episode of one actually seeing combat in South Vietnam), I chose to include one.

All of the infantry are from Battle Honors, I mix some of their US Army miniatures with the US Marine miniatures for variety.  Of the Vietnam miniatures I have seen in 25mm / 28mm, these are my favorite.  The M48 and T-34/85 are 1:50 diecast from Corgi, the PT-76 is a resin model (1:48 I think) owned by Keith, not sure of the manufacturer.

The valley:  dirt path, muddy paddys, some heavy growth, high grass, and a small village.

The Marines started along the valley path, but move quickly once the ambush is sprung.  They take fire from PAVN infantry and also PAVN emplacements.

The M48 takes aim ....

... and dispatches the lightly armored PT-76 early on.  The PAVN platoon command lurks in a forest section, immediately behind a squad sized earth-and-log bunker.

Unfortunately, while the T-34/85 couldn't move, its 85mm gun still worked.... destroying the American tank.  Notice the Marines in the lower right hand corner of the image, as they proceed to conduct a grenade duel in heavy growth against a PAVN squad.  The Marines eventually won the woods, perhaps pushed forward by the burning M48.

In the end, both sides had taken a number of casualties, and while the PAVN were in no position to repel the foreigners, the Marines were unable to dislodge the communist forces.  The Marines held a slight edge, but the game was effectively a draw.  A fun game for all 6 players, its doubtful that anyone would have received medals or recommendations.  Sometimes you can't claim victory, and have to go with the best that you can do.


  1. Very cool! Is the M48 a Corgi model? I'm still trying to find an M60.


  2. You won't find an M60... for your 1980's Marines, right?

  3. OH, and yes, that is a Corgi. The made a few different paint schemes, both for US Army and Marines... not sure which ones they still market.

  4. Yeah for the 1980's USMC, I don't want to put a model together if I don't have to.


  5. Nice first post Chal. I remember this game, fun time had by all and some crazy grenade exchanges in the woods IIRC.

  6. Glad your now blogging. Great AAR.