My victory this evening was not ever really in doubt, and once I moved above 60 in the Hearts and Minds rating (I did manage to get as high as 68 at one point), I had the enemy on the run and was consistently gaining intelligence from the villages allowing my air assets to close, engage, and destroy the threats.
This was largely based on supply, supply, and did I mention supply? Generally the game was won by the following points:
- Constantly resupplied units every turn that I could with Huey's and the Chinook
- Constantly moved infantry to the outskirts of villages and swept for mines
- Three Cobra attack helicopters (repairing and replacing if destroyed)
- Used the Special Forces unit to train up three free ARVN units (which takes a full three turns to complete per ARVN squad)
- Used one Patton tank and the Cobra's to destroy all enemy bases detected
- Used airstrikes whenever I had a target
- Replaced the Engineer unit when I got it trapped and had the first one destroyed
- Medivac an ARVN unit to the HQ where it healed and was able to return to combat
At the end I had amassed a boatload of Political Capital and could have managed expanding the battle to put an infantry unit on the outskirts of each village; however that would have been overkill as I was locating most of the enemy bases by the time the game ended at turn 45.
The wealth of information in the map overlays helps convey a sense of where the enemy is focusing their efforts by the amount of recorded contacts for both the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army. Note that towards the middle of the map I carved out three grids in the jungle with the Engineer unit to set up the Fire Base where I stationed the howitzer artillery and constantly flew attack sorties out of with the Cobras.
The end of the game at the conclusion of turn 45 the various icons show where my units were (the helicopters were resupplied at the Fire Base while I moved the damaged birds back to the HQ where they were repaired (I did manage to fix up two flights at the Fire Base when I had an Engineer unit nearby).
It was nice to see things work in a logical context and come together for a much deserved Decisive Victory outcome. Supply is the name of the game, and taking it to the enemy instead of sitting on my ass in FOB’s proved the ultimate turning point as I was able to keep the local population largely on my side through the Hearts and Minds effect.
Well on my way to a promotion to Captain. Did I mention yet how freaking cool this shadowbox awards system is (the Steam Achievements are nice as well)?