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They Were Soldiers (Cadet Games)Newcomers Cadet Games have launched a Kickstarter to bring their Vietnam wargame They Were Soldiers to the public. The operational level game focuses on the intense fighting for the X-Ray landing zone during the 1965 battle of the Ia Drang Valley. They Were Soldiers is for two players, ages 13+, and plays in three hours or more. You can reserve a copy of the game with cardboard counters for a $69.00 dollar pledge, or get the game with 25mm minis for an $89.00 pledge, through September 18th with an expected delivery of April 2021.

From Cadet Games:

History – At 10:48 A.M. on the morning of November 14th, 1965, the first 80 soldiers of the 1st Battalion of the U.S. 7th Cavalry landed in a small clearing at the foot of the Chu Pong Massif in central Vietnam near the Cambodian border. The Americans had landed in the middle of the base area for an entire North Vietnamese division, and were almost immediately attacked from multiple sides of their small landing zone – called ‘LZ X-Ray’.

The battle raged over the next several days, with high losses on both sides. In the end, the Americans had proved their new airmobility tactics and had inflicted high losses on the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) soldiers They Were Soldiers Layout (Cadet Games)they faced. The NVA had also learned how to fight the Americans – and had inflicted serious losses on a high-tech superpower enemy by using classic light infantry tactics with only a fraction of the firepower available to the Americans.

The game is a turn-based operational level 2-player contest based on the battle for LZ X-Ray during the larger “Battle of the Ia Drang Valley” in Vietnam, 1965. There was a successful movie starring Mel Gibson made about this well-known battle for the Landing Zone.  The game is challenging for both sides and historically accurate, but only takes a few hours and can be played at one sitting.
They Were Soldiers: Battle of the Ia Drang Valley lasts 15 turns. Each turn, players alternate moving and attacking each other’s forces on the game map, which is divided into hexes. Combat can include small arms firefights between adjacent units or fire missions that target hexes with artillery, airstrikes, helicopter gunships and mortars.

At the end of the combat phase, once all fire combat is complete, adjacent units may conduct close quarters combat (CQC) to decide which force will occupy contested hexes.

Each turn, after all movement and combat is completed, both sides draw cards to determine special actions for the future turns and may get reinforcements according to a preset schedule based on the history of the battle.

Founder/Editor-in-chief of The Gaming Gang website and host of The Gaming Gang Dispatch and other TGG media, Jeff tackles any and all sorts of games but has a special fondness for strategy, conflict sims, and roleplaying games. Plus, he's certainly never at a loss for an opinion...

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