Jason had his free copy of the new Tropic Lightning book clutched in hand when he dropped by here recently. Since clearly I would jump of the bridge, I picked up the last copy of WI 282 from my FLGS, good old Toyworld.
That suits me well. I like the 'underdog', though I seem to remember them actually not-losing, so was quite happy to take on the role of the PAVN forces. The briefing is quite narrow in scope. It depicts asymmetric warfare between a range of CT and CV mechanised or helicopter US companies on one side, and a Communist guerrilla rifle battalion on the other.
The US have cool toys and massive firepower from the helos and off-board artillery, further aided by the fact that most of their teams can be used as an arty spotter, in a pinch. The PAVN list is essentially a guards strelkovy list, without Kommissars, RPGs instead of flamethrowers, no mine-dogs (I understand there are wannabe Strelk players who lack mine-dogs and Molotov cocktail troops of their own, sad), and wave attacks for their infantry companies (platoons). They too can have off-board arty, though they can only spot with one observer or the CiC. Their real perk is crazy random semi-ambushing guerrilla reserves, night attacks, ambuscades, and bunkers + booby traps which can always be placed under a US team.
Jason says he in not looking forward to the deviousness (that was probably "deviantness", actually) I might achieve with such a list but I think he gives me too much credit. Ultimately, this is a Soviet list, with no armour support (I look forward to this in future supplements to cover other parts of the overall conflict) and very funny on-table morale rules. Making those morale rules work for me is going to be key, I think. I can't not have my support guns, especially the AAMGs, but they pose a risk, so I think Evan did well with the design there.
There is a suggestion that some missions take a long time in this format. So we might be looking at smaller points totals and fixed time-limits. This is, I think fair, make the US forces stick their necks out and make the PAVN be properly relentless when the mission demands it.
I am already imagining myself painting all this now. The pro-painting service does not do 15mm. All I need to do is find the right non-BF stockist. I looked at some skytrex (CD) and it was frankly ugly though this might be just an ugly paint job. I also looked at Peter Pig, and wondered what all the fuss was about, I'd take even bad BF sculpts over that. Flashpoint is well regarded too. So I will be weighing up the right combo of not-too-ugly and right-price-for postage here.
I hope some others at the Cav are considering this? As a small bit of PSYOPS, I'll leave you with the following piece, to make Jason (or any other US player) feel suitably ambivalent about the idea of smashing my poor PAVN 'underdogs' with that one-shot devastating bombardment (if you want to use it you HAVE to buy the template lol) template one the helo gunships can throw down: