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  Nguyen Hue '72 by Cadet Games   The Vietnam War, at least the US involvement phase, was something I always stayed clear of in wargamin...

Nguyen Hue '72 by Cadet Games Nguyen Hue '72 by Cadet Games

Nguyen Hue '72 by Cadet Games

Nguyen Hue '72 by Cadet Games

 Nguyen Hue '72


Cadet Games

  The Vietnam War, at least the US involvement phase, was something I always stayed clear of in wargaming. I think it has something to do with growing up during it. The nightly list of the dead and wounded was something I will never forget. The kids I knew, including myself, always assumed we would end up going there. It was talked about only once in a while. The way we talked about it was more in low tones and usually at night. A year when you are ten years old lasts about ten of one of your years when you hit sixty. So, the memory of these late-night talks has stayed with me.

 This game is about the 1972 North Vietnamese offensive, and as an extra for the grognard, it also has the last offensive in 1975. Historically, because of US and Allied help, the 1972 offensive was finally stopped. In 1975 it was just a straight up fight between North and South Vietnam. The collapse of South Vietnam took only fifty-five days. You probably remember the pictures of the helicopters at the US embassy.

 This was reported about the actual offensive:

"Time Magazine - April 17, 1972…”The offensive began in the sky—with a shattering barrage of at least 12,000 rounds of rocket, mortar and artillery fire across the Demilitarized Zone, which divides North and South Vietnam. Said Specialist Fourth Class Michael Hill, a U.S. adviser with ARVN units in the area: "It was like nothing we ever expected and nothing we ever saw." Then came the ground attack. Some 25,000 North Vietnamese troops, with Russian-built tanks and artillery, swept down through Quang Tri province, sending 50,000 refugees fleeing south and U.S. advisers scurrying to their helicopters…”

 This is what Cadet Games has to say about the game:

"Strategic-level oversize hex & miniatures treatment of the huge conventional contest in 1972, as the Northern Communists attempted to militarily defeat the South before the US presidential election at the end of the year. Fast-paced and easy-to-play but complex enough for the true wargamer. Event cards and mystery units make for great re-playability. Terrain effects, supply, ZOC, airmobile moves, air and naval gunfire, amphibious operations, air defense, NVA tanks and artillery, B-52s and more.

The two full sized maps together

 Speaking about childhood, this game tries to reach your inner child by using plastic soldiers etc. instead of cardboard counters. Many of today's computer wargames use 3d representation of units instead of the tried-and-true square NATO symbol ones. It does not affect how the game plays, and some other games actually give you a choice between the two different sets of graphics. 

Allied Ground Forces displayed

 The game box is a big and hefty one. Cadet Games describes the maps as "two big, beautiful ones". I cannot argue with that statement at all. The maps are both standard wargames maps at 22" X 34". They show South Vietnam and a small amount of North Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia at ten miles per hex. I agree with Cadet Games that the maps are beautiful. The Rulebook is in full color and is twenty-pages long. The Rulebook is this size because this game is much more than an Axis & Ally clone. The rules are written out in an easy-to-understand manner. There are two Player Aid Setup Charts. These are made of the same material as the mounted maps. One of them has the NVA/NLF Deployments and Reinforcements and the other has the Allied ones. The reverse on both Player Aids has the Terrain Chart. There is one Counter Sheet that has 117 circular counters on it. They are mostly color coded to show their use. They come wrapped in plastic because they do want to jump out of the surrounding cardboard. There are twenty-seven cards for both sides. For each scenario, both sides get thirteen 'named' cards and one mystery one. The cards are the usual card type you find with wargames. The information side of the card come with a black & white photo and are easily read and understood. Next up, we have the plastic soldiers. These plastic minis are colored brown and green. I will say that they have brought some childhood angst with them. Because of their small size, the gun barrels and the wings of the aircraft sometimes come, Oh the horror, bent. While almost 60 years ago this would cause my OCD to rear its head. It doesn't bother me as much as I thought it might. The minis are actually pretty cool looking. The Allied Skyraiders (I love those planes) are a little bland, but it is because of their size that they have to be. The B-52s and everything else look very good. So, all of the components as a whole, are very well done. 

It also comes with two Spookies or Puff the Magic Dragons. For those of you who do not know, these were Douglas AC-47s that were loaded to the brim with anti-ground armament.

 This is the Sequence of Play:

NVA Player Turn

Reinforcement & Card Phase
Movement Phase
Combat Phase
Rally Phase

Allied Player Turn

Reinforcement & Card Phase
Movement Phase
Air Attack & Naval Gunfire Phase
Combat Phase
Game Turn Advancement


  The game is much deeper than I thought it would be. So, kudos to Cadet Games. The supply rules are not just if a unit is in or out of it. There are different supply states for NVA and Allied units. Allied units are considered in General Supply if they can trace an unobstructed line to any un-besieged Allied controlled town or base. It does not matter how far they are from them. They are also in General Supply if they are in a town or base hex. If an Allied unit cannot trace a hex line for supply, it is unsupported.  The NVA has three supply states. These are Attack Supply, General Supply, and Isolated. During the Combat Phase a 'Real Supply Token' is expended from a supply center within eight hexes of the unit. That unit has Attack Supply for that entire Combat Phase. Any NVA units in the eight-hex range are in Attack Supply also. An NVA unit is in General Supply if they are within eight hexes of an NVA Supply Center. If any NVA cannot make an eight-hex line to a Supply Center, it is considered Isolated. Due to the NVA buildup before the 1972 offensive, all NVA units have Attack Supply for the first two game turns.

  At the beginning of each player turn they are allowed to pull one card from their deck of fourteen. Each player can only have one card to play each turn. So, if they do not use a card during a turn, they will need to discard one of the two that are in their hand at the beginning of the next turn. They can use that one card anytime during the game turn. 

 This is the Combat Sequence:

1. Determine strength and supply status of all attacking units.
2. Reveal and hidden defending units.
3.Reveal strength and supply status of any defending units (including militia) and air/naval effects.
4. Check and terrain effects on the combat.
5. Attacker plays and desired card.
6. Defender plays and desired card.
7. Determine combat ratio and CRT column and roll die.
8. Apply combat results immediately.
9. Advance after combat option.
10. Re-hide any defending units.

 As you can see the game uses the tried-and-true CRT (Combat Results Table) method.

The game laid out before placing the minis

 Thank you, Cadet Games, for allowing me to review this very good game. They have eight games on Vietnam and its environs right now. They go from this game's strategic look at the conflict to tactical battles. Speaking of which, I will have a review coming of their They Were Soldiers/Dak To Hill 875 tactical game. F-105 Thunderchiefs here we come. I hope they get to work on a Dien Bien Phu game.

 I just read on the game's BGG website how to straighten out the bends in the plastic pieces. It is a pretty simple process that just involves immersion into hot water.


Cadet Games:
Nguyen Hue '72: