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 Sfifer's Vietnam Survival Guide: Map Strategies Pt 2.

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Sfifer
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PostSubject: Sfifer's Vietnam Survival Guide: Map Strategies Pt 2.   Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:45 am

Ho Chi Minh Trail (Assault)

MACV--Studies and Observations Group/Unidentified Viet Cong Forces





The Ho Chi Minh trail was a network of roadways and paths leading from North Vietnam, through Laos and Cambodia, and into South Vietnam. Named after the North Vietnamese leader, the trail served as a route for supplies and troops for the North Vietnamese troops in the south. It was, needless to say, a thorn in the Americans' sides. The trail was bombed repeatedly throughout the course of the war, and ground operations were undertaken for the purpose of gathering intelligence.

Special Forces Strategy

The Special Forces troops start in the south at control point #5 (see the screenshot). Nearby are a Sheridan, a MUTT, and an M113.

Your first goal is to capture the nearest control point to keep your points from continuing to drain away. Take vehicles along the road to the north, and send the infantry over the hill. The vehicle crews should be cautious of the two log traps on the hill over the road. Trigger them yourself, then move through before they have respawned. Control point #4 is in a small, exposed village. Capture it as quickly as possible with brute force. As soon as you do, an M110A2 howitzer will spawn nearby.

Just to the north is control point #3. There are three ways to get to it--a foot bridge to the north, a vehicle bridge to the south, and by swimming. If you take vehicles across the bridge, you will be driving right under the muzzles of two M46 field guns--enough to chop you to shreds. The foot bridge just makes you target practice. Swimming may be your best bet for reaching the other side. Take your time first, though, to soften them up. Put a couple of snipers on the hills overlooking the river, and then have some mortars and your M110A2 fire on the field guns. Taking (and holding) the temple complex in which flag #3 is hiding is essential for a win.

VC Strategy

Viet Cong troops start out in charge of all of the control points except for #5. In the northernmost point, #1, you will find a T54 and a UAZ. Nearby is your mobile spawn. Point #4, a bit further south, has a UAZ and an M46. Look for a health station and ammo box in the alcoves to either side of the shrine. The temple around control point #3 is the most important one in the game; look for a UAZ and a pair of M46 field guns nearby. Control point #4, just to the north of the Spec Ops starting point, holds nothing but a UAZ.

Initially, there is no reason to have any troops at points #1 or #2--the enemy won't be anywhere near them. Instead, send a few of your soldiers to point #3 in case any Spec Ops players get sneaky, and send the rest down to point #4. Set traps and get ready, because the Americans are going to be coming up over the hill and along the road. They will have an advantage from their vehicles, as well as from the fact that they are fighting from higher ground, so you will eventually lose the point. Regardless, the longer you delay the inevitable, the longer the Spec Ops team will have its points draining away. It is worth sending a man or two up the hill overlooking the road. There are two log traps up there, both of which will completely block the road with big, pointy ex-trees.

Once point #4 has been lost, rally at control point #3. The temple is the key; control it, and you can control access between the northern and southern portions of the map. A few troops at a time should sneak out and try to capture the Spec Ops control points in the south. A properly-placed mobile spawn (on the hill between #4 and #5 is good, as is south of #5) can make this easier. Every time you drop them down to only one flag, they will start to lose points.

General Strategy

Ho Chi Minh Trail is a linear map. That means that the flags are placed in roughly a straight line, and you will generally encounter them in order. That does not mean, however, that you have to walk straight from one to the next. The roads are the least effective way to get anywhere on this level; you can often walk right past the enemy defenses if you move through the hills and jungle to the sides instead.

Another tendency on linear maps is for the forces to end up deadlocked at a choke point (usually a bridge). One team will end up on one side, the other team on the other, and neither side will be able to advance. This stalemate goes on until one team wins through attrition--their opponents run out of tickets due to deaths rather than through objectives. When this happens, a few things can be done to break the stalemate, or at least give your side the edge.

The first is to bypass the chokepoint. Swim the river as far away from the action as you can, or sneak through the jungle to get around the fight. Don't turn around and attack the main force from behind--you may get a couple of kills, but they'll get you right back. Instead, keep sneaking. Head all the way to one of the control points far behind their lines; with any luck, they will be so caught up in the main battle that nobody will stay behind to guard it. Capture it, or better yet, drop a mobile spawn point somewhere (and be sure to tell your team).

Secondly, use good support tactics. In a nose-to-nose battle, a couple of engineers setting up mortars behind their own lines can tip the balance of the battle. If there is artillery available, pull out those binoculars and spot! It only takes a couple of seconds, but it makes all the difference in the world. You may not break the stalemate, but once you start dishing out more damage than they do, you will be on your way to a win through attrition.

The two north and two south control points on this map are throwaways. There are no special tricks to taking them or defending them. The secret to the level is control point #3, and the temple surrounding it. This is where Ho Chi Minh Trail's chokepoint often occurs. It is easy to defend, as attackers have to go in through one of two narrow entrances and then up a single set of steps surrounded by overhanging balconies to reach the flag. On the upper levels are ammo boxes and overlooks ideal for snipers and mortars, with lots of hiding places when your fire gets returned. A clever player can even jump off of the top level, open his parachute (why'd he bring that thing to an infantry fight, anyway?) and land on one of the roofs surrounding the complex for an alternate and unexpected vantage point.


Hue (Head On)

1st ARVN Division/6th NVA Regiment





Tet is the Vietnamese New Year, a time of celebration. In 1968, a cease-fire was called to allow for the celebration. Nobody expected it to be honored, but nobody expected how badly it would be broken. On January 31st, roughly 80,000 NVA and VC soldiers launched coordinated attacks on more than 100 towns, villages, and major metropolitan centers. It was hoped that it would be the coup that would defeat the south, but the Tet Offensive (as it became known) was fought off in almost every town - all but one city--the ancient capitol of Vietnam, Hue. Because of its cultural and political significance, US soldiers had not been allowed into the city prior to the offensive, so they had to fight their way in after the NVA had begun their offensive. The fighting was some of the hardest of the war, with 25 days of battle that eventually destroyed most of the city.

Each side holds a spawn point near where they begin the battle, and four more neutral spawn points are located within the city itself. Three of them are around the edges of the city, and one is located in the center. The urban terrain is arranged around the temple in the center of town. There are lots of buildings, and a great many of them can be entered to provide a shortcut or cover. As you near the central temple, you will find numerous concentric walls and gardens that make a direct vehicular assault difficult, but give lots of cover for advancing infantry.

ARVN Strategy

The ARVN start out in the southwest with only a MUTT, an M113, and a Patton tank available.

Your initial goal is point #4 in the center of the map. The NVA have a faster vehicle available, so they will probably win the race to the center point. Your counter is to bring as much force as possible into play at point #4 before they can capture it and set up an effective defense. Load up your M113 with as many men as you can, and head for the center. Overwhelm the NVA with sheer numbers, then take the flag.

Once you control the center, you can begin to spread out. Start with control point #5. Having the NVA spawn on a wall overlooking your initial base is a bad thing.

NVA Strategy

The NVA begin the battle in the northeastern corner of the city at control point #1 (see screenshot), with a T54 tank, a BTR60, a Vespa, a UAZ, and a BM21 at their disposal. The beginning of this battle is a race to control point #4. Don't stick together--grabbing the central point early makes a good old rush a viable strategy here. If one person can grab the Vespa, and another two or three follow up in the UAZ, you can get a significant team into place to capture point #4 as quickly as the ARVN can. If this initial group isn't enough to take the flag, they should be enough to prevent your opponents from doing so until you can bring in your primary force for the capture.

Point #3, while the least defensible, is probably your easiest secondary capture due to its proximity to the initial NVA spawn point. If you get into trouble in the center, fall back here to give your units an in-town respawn point before making another attempt.

General Strategy

Additional light vehicles will spawn near control points, but don't expect to see any aircraft in Hue.

The primary goal for each side in this battle is to take and hold the central spawn point (#4). An army which holds the center can branch out in any direction to hit an unguarded peripheral flag, while the army outside of the temple has to deal with an embedded enemy overlooking most of the city. The central temple itself is built like a castle. There are only two entrances, one of them very small, which can easily be held by a handful of troops. A few Assault or Heavy Assault soldiers can defend the central point for a long time. Add in a couple of engineers with traps or explosives, and the temple becomes almost impregnable from the ground. Atop the wall that surrounds the temple is a walkway with multiple stairways for access. From here, as well as from the upper levels of the temple itself, a group of Heavy Assaults and Scouts will be able to control the routes through half of the city, as well as a direct line of fire to the flag in the northwest.

Flag #5, to the south, is located atop a long wall. This might sound ideal, but there are several sets of stairs and ramps that can allow an attacking force access to the wall. To make things worse for the defenders, two of the ramps (which come up right behind the flag) are large enough to allow a tank to drive right up onto the wall, and the sets of stairs both come up on opposite sides in the front. In other words, a coordinated force can attack from four directions at once. If you are having trouble defending the wall, or if you are planning an attack, consider positioning anti-vehicle soldiers or scouts in the building directly across the street from the flag. They will have a clear line of fire to anybody near the flag, as well as to the bottom of the ramps and steps leading upwards. Most enemies won't think to look across the street from their objective until it is too late.

The other two control points are even harder to defend. Control point #3 has cover nearby, but the flag itself is exposed and open to the street. Open buildings and multiple approaches make it a nightmare to defend by any means other than persistence and brute force. The last flag, #2, is even more exposed in the courtyard of a large tower. Since it is in a corner of the map, there are limited routes of approach, and anybody who wants to capture it from you will have to stand in the open while they do so. Do not try to defend the flag itself--it is wide open to half of the map, including the snipers in the central temple. Instead, pull back against the walls and defend the approaches to the flag. An open building nearby also provides an excellent field of fire toward the flag.
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