Thursday, June 27, 2013

Random Events for Charlie Don’t Surf

Yeah, I think that counts as a "Random Event"!
As I mention in previous blog entries that I created several decks of cards for Charlie Don’t Surf through ArtsCow.  In one of my decks, (Deck 4) I added several Random Event cards.  They are unofficial, so don’t think that you have to use them.  I created them to add another level of friction based on my personal experiences on field exercises or personal accounts that I had told to me or read by veterans. 

In one of my decks is a card that is called “Random Event”.  That card is shuffled in the regular deck.  When the “Random Event” is pulled, then roll 1d6 or 2d6 depending on how random you want things to be.  Personally, I will roll a 1d6 for night actions and 2d6 for day actions as it is always more chaotic at night.  Regardless, on a roll of one or two ones, something happens and then you draw from the deck of random events that are listed below.  You can tailor your random events to include some or none of the below.  Or maybe add / delete some as the game continues; for example a platoon that having a real hard time crossing a river might mean that the “Relieved of Command” card will be added to the deck.  On the same lines, if the “Relieved of Command” card comes up, instead of it being a random Big Man, the umpire might say that the off board high command decided that the platoon leader that can’t get his men to cross the river will automatically be the one that will be relieved of command.  Since these are not official, tailor them to your scenario.

So let’s go through each of the cards here in no specific order and explain how I will use them to affect the game!

Accidental Discharge:  Someone accidentally discharged their weapon.  Maybe they saw something or someone was just being a ‘Gomer Pyle’, but they gave away your position.  A random hidden unit is now on a blind or a blind is now placed out.

Fragging Attempt:  Instead of rolling a fragmentation grenade into the officers’ latrine, someone decides that he will to try to kill the unpopular man in the field. Roll for the effect of one hit on a random Big Man. If it is 1970 or later, roll for two hits if the Big Man is with the US armed forces.

Friendly Fire:  Due to confusion, poor visibility, or someone didn’t communicate where they were, one squad/team that has not used its action dice will engage another friendly unit.

Minor Accident:  Someone got careless and did something wrong causing minor injuries to some of the other squad/team members.  Roll a D3 for shock to squad/team.

Major Accident:  Someone really screwed up!  The mortar man failed to noticed that the last mortar round did not launch before dropping another round down the tube causing it to explode.  Roll a D6 for the number of hits and then for the affects. Also, if a six is rolled, any weapon or vehicle with the unit is also knocked out.

Booby Trap:  Some old forgotten booby trap detonates on the last squad/team that moved.  It affects either side.

Weather Change:  The effects are pretty much what it says.  In the latest TFL Seasonal Special (Summer 2013) there is a better article on the weather in Vietnam.  I created this random event card before that.

Wind Change:  The smoke from the grenade quit moving and started to go straight up as the wind came to a stop.  The wind either shifts in a different direction, stops, or even increases in speed. 

Visibility Change:  The overcast started to break up and the full moon started to increase the area that the listening post could see.  This could be the light level increasing/decreasing due to weather.  It could also be, if it is raining, showing the rain is letting up or getting worst.

Improved Spotting:  The sun just glinted off the enemy’s rifle barrel just right so the point man was able to spot them.  One spotting attempt gets a +1.

Poor Vision:  Thankfully the shadows were just right that the enemy’s point man was not able to see our hidden machine gun bunker.  One spotting attempt gets a -1.

Squad Lost (No movement):  “Hang on, let’s look at that map again.”  The squad cannot move this turn, but can do other actions.

Squad Lost (Wrong Area): “Damnmit!  We are wrong side of the rice paddy.”  The next squad/team that moves in cover is moved by the opposing player until they come to open terrain.

Squad Lost (Scattered):  “Where in the hell are we?”  The next squad/team that moves in cover rolls a scatter dice and moves the full distance or until they come to the open terrain. 

Lucky Break on Intel:  “Looks like a map which their positions drawn on it!”  One random hidden unit is now placed on a blind or if everything is on blinds, one dummy blind is removed.

Blood Trail:  A blood trail is found and leads off in a trail.  If the VC uses a “Di Di Mau” card to create two blinds, the US discovers which the real blind is and which the phony blind is.  The phony blind is removed.

Sleeping on Duty:  “Zzzz…” Only effects games at night where combat has not started yet.  A random defending platoon/blind cannot do any movement or spotting for the rest of the game until combat breaks out.

US Armor Cavalry Mad Minute:  At their night defensive position, the troop commander received orders to conduct a Mad Minute right now.  A Mad Minute was a tactic in which every gun in the night defensive position would open fire for a period of time at a random set time into the surrounding cover to discourage the VC/PAVN in attempting to assault them at night.  This event would only apply to a game where the VC/PAVN is doing a night attack, has not been spotted (blinds do not count towards being spotted) and no combat has been started. Also, all of the defending units are now placed on the board and are no longer considered to be under a blind for the rest of the game.

Harassment Fire Mission: Random artillery shells start falling in the general area to harass enemy movement towards a friendly defensive position.  This only occurs in night games where VC/NVA has not been spotted, the allies are in a defensive position, and no combat has been started.

“Hurry Up”:  “Double time!  Move! Move!” The next moving squad/time gets one free action die for movement only.

Radio Interference:  “Sir, I can’t get 1st Platoon!”  This turn no communication between friendly players can be done unless they are in command range to the other Big Man and no air/indirect fire can be called in or corrected.

Mission Change:  “Six actual, I want you now to go ahead cease your attack on the village and now assault the bunker complex.”  Higher ups decided to change your mission in the middle of it.  The military victory objectives are now different.

Counter Orders from Higher Up: “Six actual, I am counter commanding your request for artillery.”  A higher level officer decides that you really don’t need the type of support that you requested and cancels it.  Try again later.  (This is especially true if you were with the US 1st Infantry Division in late 1967)

“Up From the Ranks!”  PFC Johnson tightened his grip on his M16 and looking over the leaderless 1st squad, and then yelled, “Follow me!  Let’s go!”  A squad that is not under command now has a Status I Big Man that is permanently attached to that squad for the rest of the game.

Relieved of Command:  “If you can’t get your men across that river, I will find someone that can!”  Remove one random Big Man and replace him with a new NCO Big Man, except for the CO.  If the CO is replaced, one of the Platoon Leaders is now the new CO and a new NCO Big Man becomes that platoon’s leader.  Roll for to determine the new Big Man’s status per the normal rules. 

Random Event A & B:  These are the catch all for something that is not listed above, like artillery priority dropping a level because another company is now even in a bigger firefight and the higher ups decide that they are more important.

I hope that some will find this food for thought for their future gaming experiences.

Look out for Charlie!



Anibal Invictus said...

Interesting variants, need to give a thought but I like the ideas in principle

lfoster said...

That's really nice work, Joe! I made random events cards for another game we play, and we had a lot of fun with it, but didn't think of it for CDS. I like them a lot. It will be interesting to use them in a game. Is there a way buy a deck of your cards?

Anonymous said...

I like some random events in a game as in Platoon Forward. Unlike PF these events seem to apply primarily to FW forces. There should be more that affect the communist forces as well.

The Relieved of Command event in a company level game seems too random. Relieving a platoon leader should be the choice of the company commander (who would probably just put a boot up the platoon leader's backside) else the command chain would be violated.

Relief of a company commander should be mission performance dependent.

History PhD said...

Joe, would you be open to creating another deck or two? There are cards I'd love to have, but as I already have all your decks, I'd really prefer them to match

Sapper Joe said...

Hello, History PhD

I will be willing to do that, but if you are referring to the random events listed in this entry, they are in this deck of mine already:

If you are referring to something else, let me know. It takes a while (mainly hunting for good pictures and in between my work schedule), but I will give it a go.