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SAIGON 75 from NUTS PUBLISHING ANNOUNCING THE FORTHCOMING KICKSTARTER Recently I was fortunate enough to receive a proto...








Recently I was fortunate enough to receive a prototype copy of this game to be launched on Kickstarter next week.  Consequently what I'll be sharing with you now is intended just to give you a flavour of the final finished professional production.  Above all the aim is for a swift playing game that can be completed in about an hour.  Quite an achievement and one which, for those of an older generation like me, has its acknowledged antecedents in  The Fall of South Vietnam from Yaquinto games.

Like that game and other companies more recent efforts such as Fire In The Lake and Hearts and Minds,  Nuts Publishing have gone for an area movement map.  For me this has always been my preferred way of treating the geography of this war when handled in its entirety, whether as a full blown simulation or a lighter treatment as here.

Though the prototype is on a simple paper map that needed to be assembled in four sections the final product is to be a mounted map and, if you've seen the quality of their paper maps from Urban Operations, I expect the standard for a mounted map to be very high.

For the components, like Fire In The Lake, the company have gone for solid wooden pieces.

However, considering the much lighter treatment and fast play-time there will be considerably fewer to consider!  As you can see from some of the prototypes, the dice are going to be customised with icons, a factor I've always enjoyed as in the Command & Colours series.  To round out the physical elements in the game will be a set of Event cards, which judging by these preliminary ones will certainly add to the thematic atmosphere of Saigon 75.

I've always been a fan of using period photos and these are just what I like in a game.  The current rules provide for using them in two different ways.  The way that they consider best when first learning the game is to start with a hand of three cards, play one each turn and draw a new card or the other way they suggest for players with more experience is to begin with a full hand of eight cards.  Personally, I like the first method as it adds a greater element of uncertainty as to what will occur and which player will ultimately be the one to play the Event.

There are a small number of colourful counters, some - those marked Quyet Thang -  to indicate NVA control, which is absolutely essential to victory, others are US airstrike markers.

At the moment the rule book is physically a very simple, black and white production with no examples or illustrations.  Though it certainly will not need the high quality illustrations and production values of the excellent rule and scenario booklets seen in Urban Operations, I'm still expecting a very attractive presentation.   Even as it stands, I found it very well organised and easy to understand, even without any illustrated examples.  So, no worries there.

As expected the North Vietnamese field both NVA Divisions and VC Battalions, while the South Vietnamese possess ARVN Divisions and an assortment of Ranger Battalions and Marine and Paratrooper Brigades along with a small contingent of River Patrol boats.  Despite its low unit density I was intrigued to see that both sides have to roll for the number of activations that they're allowed each turn, giving each player pause for thought as to where the focus will lie each turn.

All in all, this looks a smooth design, quick to learn, swift to play, but with its own distinctive features.  I look forward to seeing its progress on Kickstarter.

Once again, many thanks to Nuts Publishing for the chance to preview their upcoming game.