Strategy & Tactics issue no. 281 Game Title

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Strategy & Tactics issue no. 281
Game Title: In Country: Vietnam 1965-1975
Date of Publication: JUL - AUG 2013
Strategy & Tactics Press, PO Box 21598, Bakersfield, CA 93390
Decision Games hereby grants permission for its customers to download and/or print copies of this file for their personal use. Discussion folders for this game are located on the S&T Press discussion board.



3.0 SET UP


























Design: Joseph Miranda

Development: Eric R. Harvey & Ken Tee

Final Rules Editing: Eric R. Harvey

Playtesters: Joseph Miranda, Eric R. Harvey, Ken Tee, John Teixeira, Robert Brown, Doug Vaselaar, Greg Willaby, Dave Schubert, Dan Beattie

Game Maps: Joseph Youst

Counters: Larry Hoffman

Production: Callie Cummins and Lisé Patterson

Special Thanks: Eric R. Harvey, Ken Tee, Bruce Costello
© 2013 Decision Games

Bakersfield, CA.

Made & printed in the USA.
NOTE: To remove the rules from this magazine, carefully and slowly peel them from the subscription card they are attached to by peeling from the top and then the bottom meeting in the middle. The card is not intended to be removed as it is perforated.
These rules use the following color system: Red for critical points such as errata and exceptions, Blue for examples of play.

In Country: Vietnam 1965-75 is a simulation of several critical campaigns of the Vietnam War. This is a two-player game. One player controls the Communists, the other the Allied Forces.
The game has several scenarios: 1965, 1968, and 1970. Each simulates a period of intense conventional warfare in which a critical decision might have been reached. It was during the periods of major offensives operations there was the possibility to have altered the outcome of the Vietnam War. While the main emphasis is on the conventional operations, unconventional war also has its place in the game.

Note: There is no 1964 scenario; The 1964 box on the turn track is used if playing the Campaign Game.
There are three levels of rules. The Standard Game is used to play individual scenarios. The Campaign Game rules add additional realism to simulate the entire war from the military perspective.

2.1 Game Equipment

A complete set of In Country includes the following components: two game maps, this rules set, and two sheets of die-cut counters. Players will also need to provide themselves with a six-sided die.

Note: The game includes extra units (such as the ROK 66th Marine Division, or the nuclear detonation counters, etc). for a hypothetical Chinese Intervention Scenario, which is not included with this rules set. See to get this hypothetical scenario.
2.2 Game Map

The game map shows the Republic of Vietnam, Cambodia and the adjoining regions of Laos and North Vietnam, as they were in 1965 to 1975. A hexagonal (“hex”) grid has been superimposed on the map to regularize the movement of units across it and to delineate terrain types. Units are placed in hexes, move from hex to hex and must remain within the hex boundaries at all times.

Errata: The terrain key refers to Swamp, but it is the same as Marsh.
Errata: The city in hex 3716 should be printed with Phnom Penh (with a VP value of 0).
Errata: On the Sequence of Play, simply cross out the word “reorganization” in the Reinforcement, Reorganization and Refit Phases.

The Republic of Vietnam itself is divided into additional areas:

The I, II, III and IV Corps Zones (the grey boundaries) are used by the Allied player.
The B-1, B-2, B-3, B-4, Saigon and Delta Fronts (the red boundaries) are used by the Communist player.

Note: The Corps and Military Region boundaries are different for the Allied and Communists, respectively. These boundaries affect several game functions, as explained throughout the rules.
2.3 Forces & Force Colors

There are two players in the game: Allied and Communist. Each player may control forces from more than one nation.

Errata: The US 1/5 Marine unit should be printed as 5/1 instead.
Allied: Controls all US, South Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodia, and Allied forces.

Free World Allies: These include all ROK, Thai, Australian, New Zealand, Philippine, Gurkha, SEATO, CIA, and units marked as “Allies.”

Communist: Controls all North Vietnamese, Viet Cong, Pathet Lao, Khmer Rouge, and Communist Chinese forces.

Friendly Forces Each player controls more than one contingent (or nationality, etc). of forces. In general, all units on one side are completely friendly to each other, may stack and conduct combat together, use each other’s supply, etc. Exceptions will be noted in the rules at the appropriate places.
Unit Colors

Allied Forces: Green and Yellow

Communist Forces: Red, Black, Maroon

and Brown

2.31 Unit Types & Markers

There are two basic types of counters in the game: units, representing military formations, and markers, used to record various game functions and serve as memory aids.

Sample Ground Unit

First number = Combat factor

If a unit has a “+” after its combat factor, it receives a special attack bonus.
Second (parenthesized) number = Unconventional Warfare (UW) factor
Letter = movement class
The “Y” means the unit is airmobile and can use special airmobile movement.
2.32 Unit Sizes

The printed size and class of each unit is defined as follows:

XXXX = army (Chinese)

XX = division

X = brigade or group

III = regiment or group

II = battalion or squadron

[ ] = Group
Mobility Classes

H = Heavy

L = Light

R = Riverine

S = Static (cannot move)

Y = Airmobile
Note: The red “Y” for airmobile-capable units is actually printed within the NATO symbol itself, while its normal movement classification (such as “L”) is listed normally.
Dual Class Units

Units which are airmobile are also either heavy, light or static units, as printed on the counter. Certain units have an asterisk (*). These are alternative-deployment units, representing different states for the deployment of other units.

2.33 Backprinting

The reverse of counters will represent different things.

Communist Mobile units are backprinted with their Fog of War state.

US Air Cavalry units are backprinted with an airborne unit of the same designation. This represents that same unit in a different configuration. Note that the converse is not so, however; US airborne units cannot be reconfigured as air cavalry.

Vietnamization. Certain South Vietnamese and US units are backprinted with an alternative strength or status, post Vietnamization.

Note: Vietnamization is used in the Campaign game only, or if a scenario calls for it.

US Special Forces Base Camp units are printed on both sides. The front is when they are controlled by the US. The reverse is when they are controlled by South Vietnam.

Allied Garrison units are printed with that side’s colors on their fronts, but have Communist colors on their backs. Those units, once placed, are never removed from the map during play. They’re simply flipped from side to side to indicate which side controls their hex at any given time (however, that’s not true for the Communist Garrison units included in the counter-mix).

Note: Unlike most wargames, the backprinted side does not always represent a reduced strength status of the unit; It sometimes represents either the unit in a completely different state or enemy control of local forces.
2.34 Other Counter Indicators & Symbols

Air Units

Air units do not have factors. Rather, the number of symbols printed on each unit is its strength. The Allied player can use them like “change,” breaking them down or exchanging them for an equal number of alternate single-depiction counters.

Air Unit Types

Strategic airstrike (SAC)

Tactical airstrike (TAC)


Helicopter with TOW missiles (TOW)

Air Commando (Air Cdo)

Naval Unit Types:

Naval bombardment (NAV)

Administrative Markers

Military Points: Indicates the current number of Military Points a player has accumulated.

Political Points: Indicates the current number of Political Points a player has accumulated.

Turn: Used to indicate which

turn (week) is in progress.

Status Markers

Base Destroyed: Indicates a Communist Base area which is no longer in existence.

Landing Zone (LZ): An area which has been prepared for an air assault by Allied airmobile forces.

Operation Complete: Indicates a unit that has completed some designated operation.

Siege: A friendly occupied base, firebase, Special Forces Camp, base area or city that is within an enemy ZOC.

Suppressed: Indicates a unit that has lost combat effectiveness owing to some action (such as bombardment).
Unit Abbreviations


ACFB = Air Cavalry Fire Base

ANZTF = Australia New Zealand Task Force

ARVN = Army of the Republic of [South] Vietnam

AvnB = Aviation Brigade

BP = Black Panthers

CAG = Philippines Civic Action Group

Cav = Cavalry (airmobile)

Cap = Capital Division

CIA =Central Intelligence Agency

CR = Commando Raiders

Delta = Delta Force

FB = Fire Base

Gd = Guard

Gur kha = Gurkha Brigade

Designer’s Note: There was indeed a plan to bring a brigade of Gurkha mercenaries in country.

KSF = Khmer Special Forces

MG = Mobile Group

MR = Military Region

Riverine = Mobile Riverine Force

MSF = Mobile Strike Force

Omega = Omega Force

PARU = Police Aerial Resupply Unit

Phil = Philippines Regiment

PRC = People’s Republic of China (Red China)

QC = Queens’ Cobras

R = Ranger

RAG = River Assault Group

Res = Reserve

ROC = Republic of China (Taiwan)

ROK = Republic of Korea

RFPF: Regional Forces/Popular Forces

RTExD = Royal Thai Expeditionary Division

Sigma = Sigma Force

SF = Special Forces

SEATO = Southeast Asia Treaty Organization

SOG = Studies and Observation Group

Developer’s Note: SOG (Studies & Observations Group) was a cover name to disguise its real function, and the name Special Operations Group described its real mission more accurately.

TF = Task Force

TFO = Task Force Oregon

TFS = Task Force South

USMC = United States Marine Corps

Vol = Volunteer

WS = White Star (CIA/Special Forces)

B = B-# Front

DMZ = Demilitarized Zone

Ind = Independent Tank Regiment

MR = Military Region

126N = 126 Naval Sapper

NVA = North Vietnamese Army

TN = Tay Nguyen

TTH = Tri-Thien-Hue

VC = National Liberation Front (Viet Cong)

2.35 Game Displays & Tables

These are used to orchestrate certain game functions, and simplify certain game procedures.


Air, Naval & SOG Available/Mission Completed: Used to organize Allied air units, fleets and SOGs in play.

Airmobilization: Indicates helicopter units used for airmobilize ground units

Air Units Available/Mission Completed: Used to organize Allied air units/fleets in play.

Communist Cadres: A convenient place for Communist cadres when not in play.

Refit Box: A convenient place for units which have been eliminated and can possibly be returned to play.

Reinforcements: Units available as reinforcements for a scenario.

Reorganization: Units which have been removed from the map via the reorganization, and units which can otherwise be used for reorganization.

Thai Base: Allied bases in Thailand off the northwest part of the map.

Turn Record Chart: Used to indicate the current game turn and phase.

Units Permanently Eliminated: Units which have been destroyed via the URT are placed here.

VC Underground: Used to place VC units which have gone underground. There is one box corresponding to each Communist Military Region.
Charts & Tables

Bombardment Table: Used to resolve air-to-ground attacks.

Bombing North Vietnam: Used to execute air raids against North Vietnam, off the map.

Combat Results Tables (CRTs): Used to resolve Land Combat; there are two CRTs, Mobile and Positional.

Command Control Chart: Provides a summary of command control for each force in the game for each year.

Order of Battle & Appearance: A listing of all units in the game and when they appear and are possibly withdrawn (34.0).

Reorganization Chart: Shows which units can replace others via reorganization.

Terrain Effects Chart (TEC): Used to show the effects of various terrain types on movement.

Unit Refit Table (URT): Used to bring back eliminated units into play.

Victory Points Track. Used to indicate the current number of Military and Political Points each player has.
2.36 Definition of Terms

Air Unit: A general term for all TAC, SAC, Air Cdo and Helicopter units.

Airmobile Movement: An airmobile move that starts and ends in a hex containing a friendly city, base, firebase, Special Forces Camp or LZ.
Air Assault Movement: An airmobile move that starts or ends in a hex that does not contain a base, firebase or Special Forces Camp.

Combat Effective: A unit that is cohesive; all units in the game are combat effective, with the exception of units which are suppressed.

Control: A player only controls all friendly units.

Enemy: Units belonging to the side opposing the player.

Friendly: Units belonging to the player.

Non-Phasing Player: The player whom is not the Phasing Player.

Occupation: A player occupies a hex if he has a land unit physically occupying it. Both mobile and static units count for occupation. Simply being the last to have passed through a hex is insufficient to qualify for occupation. The presence of enemy zones of control have no effect on occupation. Airstrikes, NAV, cadres and SOG cannot occupy a hex, nor dispute occupation.

Phase: A segment of a turn in which each player conducts various operations.

Phasing Player: The player whose segment is occurring. For example, during the Allied movement phase, the Allied player is the phasing player and the Communist player is the non-phasing player.

Refitting: The process by which eliminated units (eliminated by certain combat results) may be returned to the map.

Siege: The condition that exists whenever a friendly city, base, firebase or Special Forces Camp, or base area is in an enemy zone of control (though not enemy occupied).
2.37 Die Roll Modifiers

Certain game charts require a die roll modifier. A positive modifier is added to the result rolled on a dice (e.g., a die roll modifier of +1 added to a rolled result of 3 would give a final outcome of 4). A negative die roll modifier is subtracted from the result rolled (e.g., a die roll modifier of -1 subtracted from a rolled result of 6 would give a final outcome of 5).

2.38 Halving

Certain game functions, such as supply, call for units to have their strengths halved. When halving any factor, always round fractions down.

2.39 Game Scales

Each hex represents ~30 kilometers from side to opposite side. Each game turn represents about six days of combat operations.

3.0 SET UP

3.1 Scenarios

The game is played in scenarios. Each scenario shows one decisive, or potentially decisive, campaign from the Vietnam War.

3.2 Choosing Sides

Players choose which scenario they will play, and which sides they will be on. They then place the units for their side as listed under initial deployment, in the order listed. Other units which are received later in the scenario (reinforcements) are set aside (players may place them on the appropriate space on the Turn Record Track as a reminder). Play starts with the first turn and continues on until 1) the final turn; 2) one side gets an automatic victory; or 3) one player concedes. Use the Sequence of Play to determine which actions may or must be taken at any point in the turn.

3.3 Organizing Game Pieces

The scenarios give units in terms of their combat-UW-movement class. Unit identifications do not matter.

Note: Unit identifications are listed in brackets where known. Units are otherwise set up by their type and strength.
3.4 Setting Up

Units may be set up anywhere in the designated areas. They may not be set up in the same hex as enemy units, or enemy-controlled bases and cities. However, units may set up in enemy zones of control.

3.5 Saigon

Saigon is not considered part of the Allied III Corps or the Communist Saigon Front for purposes of initial deployment. It is its own zone.

3.6 Vietnamization

ARVN units in 1964-69 scenarios use their printed front (weaker) strength. In 1972-75 they use their backprinted (stronger) strength. In 1970-71 their strength will be listed in the scenario.

3.7 Counterinsurgency Training

The Allied player in 1965-69 scenarios always places US units on their front side. In 1970-75 scenarios, the US can place them on either side, but once placed, they must stay that way for the scenario.


4.1 Game Turns

The game is played in turns called Game Turns. Each Game Turn is divided into two Player Turns (Communist player turn, and Allied player turn). Each Player Turn is composed of several distinct segments called Phases. All actions take place in a prescribed order of phases, called the Sequence of Play, listed as follows.

4.2 Sequence of Play

I. Communist Player Turn

a) Allied Bombing North Vietnam Phase

The Allied player conducts any bombing of North Vietnam.

b) Communist Reinforcement & Refit Phase

Return all of the utilized Cadre units to the available box.
The Communist player places any

allotted reinforcements for the turn.

VC units that have gone underground

may now be returned to the map.

The Communist player may attempt to

restore units in his Refit box to the map.

The Communist player also now flips

all of his Suppressed units that are not in

enemy ZOCs to their combat effective side.

c) Communist Reorganization Phase

The Communist player may Breakdown/Combine units. VC units may go underground.
Flip face down all Communist face up

mobile units. Return all utilized Communist

Cadres to the available box. Flip all face

up Communist units to their Fog of War


d) Communist Movement Phase

The Communist player moves some, none or all his land units in accordance with the C2 rule (see 5.1).

e) Allied Defensive Air Phase

The Allied player may conduct Air Operations.

f) Communist Combat Phase

The Communist player conducts Land Combat.

g) Communist Suppression Recovery Phase

The Communist player removes Suppression markers from all Communist units.
II. Allied Player Turn

a) Allied Reinforcement and Refit Phase

Return all utilized air and SOG units to the available box.
The Allied player places any reinforcements for the turn.
The Allied player may attempt to restore units in his Refit box to the map.
b) Allied Reorganization Phase

The Allied player may Breakdown / Combine units.

The Allied player may “air mobilize” units.

c) Allied Movement Phase

The Allied player moves some, none or all his land units in accordance with the C2 rule (see 5.1).

d) Allied Offensive Air Phase

The Allied player may conduct Air Ops.

e) Allied Combat Phase

The Allied player conducts Land Combat.

f) Allied Suppression Recovery Phase

The Allied player removes Suppression

markers from all Allied units.

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