Two problems with the AGE engine regarding Vietnam era combat:
- air war would not be modelled properly as the engine is not yet adapted to it. Its "air" model is very basic and suitable only for early 20th century. No chance to properly simulate seek and destroy actions and bomber campaign. Vietnam war had a really strong air campaign!
- hit and run aka guerilla war tactic would not work now as the AGE engine is not yet adapted to it.
There are some really good users made Vietnam campaigns for a game called The Operational Art of War.
Maybe one day there will be one from AGEOD too. Minus French involvement in Vietnam aka Dien Bien Phu "masterpiece"
Good points. Here are some thoughts on how air power and guerilla war might be abstracted under the current AGOED engine.
This would include independent units of helicopter gunships, fixed wing rotor aircraft and other aircraft specifically tasked for ground support and tactical reconnaissance. These would be handled in two ways. First, the player can attach these types of aircraft directly to units to simulate dedicated Close Air Support (CAS). Second, there would be aircraft at the Corps headquarters which could “March to the Guns” to adjacent regions if they came under attack. This would allow a player to use aircraft both offensively and defensively. Aircraft would act primarily to enhance the attributes of Allied ground units.
Strike aircraft and Strategic assets would be assigned to “boxes” to simulate their commitment to various missions, e.g. Ho Chi Minh trail interdiction, Haiphong Port, the various corps regions. The impact would be on NVA and Viet Cong supplies and also add potential for attrition. The North Vietnamese could commit their limited air assets to select boxes (e.g. only over North Vietnam) in order to attrition the Allied airpower. The NVA could also establish SAM networks.
Naval and Riverine
Could act to interdict supply routes and provide bombardment support along coastlines. However river interdiction should be suitably “leaky” to reflect the difficulty of doing this in guerilla war.
Viet Cong units would have available to them a variety of postures to simulate asymmetric warfare. For example, a local Viet Cong operating in its home district would be able to run operations to conduct assassinations and terror against government officials. They could be detectable and subject to engagement only by selected Allied counter-terror unit. The outcome would affect loyalties in that district. NVA sappers could build entrenchments and cave systems and also lead breach attacks on bases. Main force Viet Cong and NVA units would be the only ones able to take and hold territory for VP, but the Allies would only earn VP for their part for regions that have a high enough loyalty – making the guerillas campaign more one of denying government control than taking over towns (at least initially). The two sides would have differing challenges. The NVA and VC would be seeking to outlast the US and Allied forces, turning finally to mainly conventional warfare only after their departure. The US side would be seeking to attrition the enemy forces to regain control of the countryside. But the use of heavy Allied ground units and airpower can backfire by causing casualties and destruction that turn the population against the SVN Government.
Both sides would have a series of strategic choices forced on them. For the Allies, do they keep foreign forces at a minimum level to allow the South Vietnamese to carry the main fight, thus perhaps allowing a better chance of keeping population loyalties in the various regions higher at the cost of lower combat effectiveness? Do they launch heavy clearing operations with massive air support to destroy enemy units at the cost of shifting the population against them? Does the US side institute Marine Corps style small unit approaches which may mean higher US casualties but greater chance of getting the population on your side? For the Communist, how much resources do they put into main force as opposed to guerilla units? How many supply units to allocate to the Ho Chi Minh trail? When do they strike for a provincial capital and a potential big payoff in propaganda at the cost of losing troops?
Loyalty and Morale tracks
Loyalty would be district by district to allow for various regional differences, e.g. support for SVN Government by some minorities like Hmong. Then there would be separate morale tracks for the US troops, the US allies, the US Home Front, World Opinion, the Soviet Bloc, the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong. Various choices would affect one or the other. For example, US troop morale and effectiveness can over time get eroded as US Home Front support steadily drops even as they win every battle. World Opinion can cause US allies to withdraw their support over time. If the Communists choose to build up a North Vietnamese conventional army too fast, they may see their southern VC allies denied the resources they need to win the agitprop battle. Soviet and Chinese assistance to the Vietnamese Communists may rise and fall depending on US and Allied actions and various world events – neither side wants to start a WW3 over SE Asia.
Just some ideas. I do think that, with some creativity and abstraction, it is quite doable.
For me the main challenge would be in creating a map.