Friday, October 12, 2012

Tacspiel – Gaming the Vietnam Conflict with official US Army wargame rules

About two or three years ago, I was discovered that in 1966, the US Army issued a set of rules and procedures for a “Kriegsspiel” map based training designed to train officers on how to fight a counter-insurgent war in Vietnam.   This document was called “Tacspiel – War-Game Procedures and Rules of Play for Guerrilla / Counter-Guerrilla Operations”. 
What is better is that I found out that this document was declassified and available to the general public.  With some Google searching, you can find a free copy on line.  However this copy is of a poor quality and is hard to read in places, plus it is missing some charts.  There is a nice bound reprint of this document available at a cost at, entitled, “Tacspiel – The American Army’s Wargaming Rules for the Vietnam War, 1966”.  It is edited by John Curry and it is worth to look at the website as he also reprinted several other official military wargame systems, like the British Army’s tactical game of 1956, and Dunn-Kempf, the US Army’s tactical game system from 1977-97.  Another advantage of buying the reprint book, besides a clean copy to read, is that the editor adds the missing charts and adds some comments to procedures that were not complete.  I went ahead and purchased a reprint from the website.  I finally got around to reading it and I am going to provide a simple review of it, as well as a little history about it.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Command Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley (Ret)

I just saw this bit of sad news, Command Sergeant Major Basil L. Plumley (Ret), passed away yesterday at the age of 92. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Maps, Scales, and A Restless Night

I love math.  I wish that I was better at calculus and physics back in high school and went more into a mathematical career.  Anyways, why am I even pining over math?  Well, last night I was sitting down with one of my 1:50000 topo maps of the Falklands thinking about how I am going to enlarge it make templates to cut out for elevations when it totally dawn on me…I was wrong on my thinking about using the altered ground scale for Charlie Don’t Surf for company battles in the Falklands and Vietnam! 
I suggested changing the game ground scale from 1:300 to 1:328 so to scale metrics to British Engineering measurements.  Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! (This is not including several other grammar and misspelling / typo mistakes I caught after re-reading the article, like on a 1:50000 scale map, 1cm=50m...sigh…that should have been 1cm=500m…that is a huge difference! I will go back and clean it up one day.)