Silver Bayonet Example of Play

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The following example of play is not based on any particular scenario. This is the same example which is available in the rules for Silver Bayonet which can be found, along with the the player aid cards and other resources at the Support Site.

Silver Bayonet Example of PlayXOP_1

This example of play, while not intended to be comprehensive, will cover most aspects of the rules. The decisions which are made and the actions which are taken are not, necessarily, the best ones. They have been chosen to highlight various rules as we follow through the Sequence of Play.

Taking a look at the situation, we can see the PAVN closing in on the garrison of Duc Co (3 x CIDG [1 x Fatigued] and DELTA). Some elements of the ARVN 3rd Armored Cavalry Squadron (HQ/3, 1/3, and 2/3 [Fatigued]) are operating to the south of Duc Co along with the Fatigued 6th ARVN Airborne Battalion and Lt. Col. Truong. One CIDG Patrol, from a previous turn is already on the map. Note that several of the units are Fatigued.
There are three PAVN battalions lurking in the jungle although the FWA player doesn’t know that because they are all under Hidden Movement markers. Those markers could all have units in them or they could all be Dummy markers. Of course, for this example, we know some of them are not Dummy markers.

Silver Bayonet: Playtest Report

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Y’all may know Ralph’s work from other GMT titles such as Operation Dauntless, Blood & Roses, Infidel, and the soon-to-be-published Arquebus. He was a valuable member of the playtesting team, and, below, he describes his experience with the 25th Anniversary Edition of Silver Bayonet.

When I heard Mitchell Land was working with GMT to re-issue Silver Bayonet, I approached him about playtesting the game. I knew Mitch from his Next War series and like his ideas on modern war. Many years ago, I had played the original Silver Bayonet game. It is a good game with a few flaws that kept it from being a great game. As one of the first GMT games, the rules and scenarios were ambiguous at points. The lack of smaller advanced game scenarios kept me from playing anything but the standard game. I just couldn’t convince my opponent to play the 39 turn campaign so we could use all of the cool hidden movement rules and helicopters.

A Walk in the Sun: Scenario #5 After Action Review from Silver Bayonet

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Once again we find ourselves deep in the jungle basking in the sunshine and tropical weather. This scenario, #5, depicts the ill-fated journey of the 2/7 Cav (along with elements of the 1/5) as they humped overland from the aftermath of LZ XRAY to a new landing zone, LZ ALBANY, a few miles away.

The torturous terrain combined with a severe lack of sleep and some command issues resulted in the cavalry troopers paying a heavy price as they were ambushed during their walk in the sun.

[NOTE: These examples don’t, necessarily, show the best tactics to be used. They are for illustrative purposes.]

The Drang River Valley (LZ MARY): Scenario #3 After Action Review from Silver Bayonet

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Following the recommended order of scenario play, the first is #6 Tea Time, we come to scenario #3 LZ Mary. This scenario depicts the night ambush conducted by A/1/9 and some CIDG Strikers on the NVA 66th Regiment as it was moving into the Ia Drang Valley as well as the subsequent NVA counterattack.

[NOTE: These examples don’t, necessarily, show the best tactics to be used. They are for illustrative purposes.]

Tea Time: Scenario #6 After Action Review from Silver Bayonet

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Here’s an AAR of the shortest scenario in the game: #6 “Tea Time”.

This scenario simulTeaTime1ates the night attack by the VC on the Brigade HQ. The HQ was lightly defended and cooks, clerks, and other “ash & trash” were pressed into service as riflemen. The HQ was saved, but that safety was bought dearly.

The Brigade HQ sets up in 3909 along with B/6/14 Artillery Battery. The VC set up in the hexes indicated by the Assault markers. I’ve spread out the units so you can see who is involved. The FWA also start with 10 Air Points which represents the HH-1 Aerial Rocket Artillery helos which were operating out of the HQ.

Setup rules indicate that the PAVN player must place at least one Assault marker. He places three and declares which units are Assaulting. Note that, although there are eight stacking points of units available to the VC, only four stacking points may actually Assault a hex. In this case, the bigger H-15 Main Force companies (2-3-9s) will do so as there are four of them and each is one stacking point.

Silver Bayonet Update: What’s in the Box?

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Here is a long overdue update for Silver Bayonet.  As you are all, no doubt, well aware, we didn’t hit our desired date for Oct-Nov last year. I decided to push production out because, quite simply, the game wasn’t ready yet.

The team has been working hard to test all of the scenarios to ensure that all of the rules changes have been thoroughly vetted. In the case of the Standard Game scenarios, this is a relatively quick process as they are range anywhere from half a turn to eight turns long using only a portion of the map, and they are easily playable in an evening. In the case of the Campaign Game scenarios, this is proving a little more involved as they range from eight to 39 turns using larger areas or the entire map, and they are far more involved in terms of additional rules such as Patrols, Hidden Movement, Helicopters, etc. We are working hard to make sure that this game exceeds expectations in all categories.

Sharpening the Bayonet: Silver Bayonet 25th Anniversary Ed. Update

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In Gene’s last article, he said:

“We’re now using Charlie’s most recent map version to create a Vassal Module so we can test the scenarios on the new map. We’ll tell you more about that process, as well as about a couple of new scenarios we’re adding, in our next InsideGMT post about the project.”

The most recent article discussed the scenarios, so now, not only am I going to give you an update on the status of the game, but I’ll also describe the changes to the game which we’re making to enhance gameplay, i.e., sharpening the bayonet.

Silver Bayonet: The Game as History

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SilverBayonet25-ban1(RBM)Here’s a look at the scenarios in Silver Bayonet, and some of the history behind them.

There are two kinds of scenarios in the game: Standard and Campaign. The Standard scenarios are smaller and, for the most part, cover some portion of the action which occurred during the campaign. The Campaign scenarios are larger and more involved, although they are also divided into two categories. There are three smaller campaign scenarios, each of which deals with a particular brigade’s operations during the campaign, and there are two Grand Campaign scenarios covering the entire campaign.

Anatomy of a New Map for Silver Bayonet

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When I decided to do a 25th Anniversary Edition of Silver Bayonet, I knew that I had to commit to doing a MAJOR revision of the game map. There are artistic reasons to want a new map because the maps that Mark and Charlie are capable of creating today dwarf what we were able to create in the pre-digital-game-map days of 1990. But as a designer, the biggest reason I wanted a new map is because I was a little embarrassed by that original Silver Bayonet map. I knew that the original map was my “best attempt,” based on very limited map resources back then, but frankly, it wasn’t a very good representation of the operational area southwest of Pleiku in the Republic of Vietnam. I knew that we could now get access  at least to 1:250,000 Topo maps of the region (most were still Classified back in 1990), which should get us a much better base game map than the one that was in the original game.

At left is the 1990 map. To the right is a cobbled-together shrunk-down version of nine 1:50,000 base maps i was using to test size and scale

At left is the 1990 map. To the right is a cobbled-together shrunk-down version of nine 1:50,000 base maps I was using to test size and scale. (I ended up using only those top six; that’s the Chu Pong Massif – which defines the bottom left of our game map – at the bottom of the middle map on the left.)