My project, after 2nd edition Tonkin is made, is to create a new Dien Bien Phu game. It would only cover the fight for the main fortress from the end of March until the beginning of May. This is when the French actually starts to fight back. Keeping to the central fortress also gives me a good scale of the map. It would have, what I would call a floating game turn. Both players have their units and a set of cards. Each card represents a certain phase during a game turn. The point is that both players have the same phases but do not need to play them at the same time. For example, the French perhaps wants to play the replacement card while the Viet Minh decides to play the assault cards.

The full map (as it is now) can be viewed here:

http://www.kangerproject.com/DienBienPhu/

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Have you got it ?
Yes, I have. Thanks!

Especially the maps showing VM trenches in late March are interesting. But I'm sure there are more things in them worth studying.

By the way, have you seen that both Ici and Tonkin is now offered by Legion Wargames (http://www.legionwargames.com/index.html). It's the same man behind khyber but with a new brand now. If you have pledged for either game before then you have to visit the new site and repledge them.
I've just preordered this morning both of your games: Tonkin (I have already played in VV version) and Ici, c'est la France. ;-)

To come back to DBP, I think minefields and barbed wire are not so important because assaults were mainly done when strongpoints were surrounded by trenches. The use of artillery is much more important to stop assaults as described in many books especially "Artilleurs à Dien Bien Phu" by Henri de Brancion
I agree, I believe the minefields and the barbed wire will mainly be used in the game as a way of limiting movement. Since I will have several cards with different kind of movement/combat, my idea is that only the assault card can pass mines/wire (or something like that).

The effect of VM artillery is mainly to wear down French units and replacements/supply in a broad sense. The effect of French artillery/airpower is mainly to stop specific VM units and to deplete them.

But, of course, the route of design for DBP is still long and winding. First get Ici out through the door then turn my attention to Tonkin and DBP.
The Dien ien Phu map
map is updated.

Dien Bien Phu can now be preordered at http://www.legionwargames.com/legion_dien_bien_phu.html

Here are three different alternatives for the general counter layout in Dien Bien Phu, the final gamble. A fourth is to use NATO symbols.

Fire is used when shooting from 1-2 hexes away. If the target unit has a high mass the risk for severe effect will increase when shot at. Assault is used instead of fire when a hex is to be taken or defended. You roll against morale when you wish to avoid becoming surpressed or to be forced to retreat.

I wish to make DBP a fast playing tournament game. I will introduce a make or break system. The Viet Minh places a regiment order marker on a French strongpoint. That regiment is now ordered to continue its assault until that strongpoint is reached and conquered. While reaching it, the regiment will suffer two consequences of its assault as well as battle results (in addition to losses). The consequences are fatigue and distress. The assault will continue with movement and fighting until the order marker is reached or the units reatreat - make or break.

After each movement and assault a unit gets increasingly tired until it gets exhausted (two sides of a marker). The more tired it gets the lower its effectiveness is. After each fighting, results of distress may accumulate. First is gets disrupted and then eventually shaken (again, two sides of a marker). So a unit that starts fresh will eventually end up both exhausted and shaken, but still able to fight though.

Along the way it might also get a battle result as surpressed, which will stop an assault. A regiment can continue until the steam blows off and hopefully it will have reached its objective before its battalions receive retreat results, perhaps due to their increasingly poor status.

The trick is to know how far in among the French the Viet Minh should place the order markers. To far in the units might not be able to reach it and take unnecessary losses in the process of their struggle to get there. Also, failure is not good for morale. Not far in enough, the gains might not be that impressive and, who knows, maybe you could have taken that extra strongpoint also. And, of course, success is good for morale.

 

VM has a large force, probably as many battalions as the French has companies. VM will also be able to concentrate at places while the French wont be able to be strong everywhere. But France will have some very good units in reserve which can be thrown into an ongoing assault to counter a VM assault.

France's only hope of victory is this: VM has a lot of replacements but these were newly recruited rookies quickly gathered around DBP. When a regiment (consisting of three battalions and a support company) takes too many replacements it will start to get a lower morale value. This morale will get worse as the regiment continues to replace. Not only are the hardcore professionals being replaced by rookies but the rookies themselves start to get increasingly unwilling to rush into the meatgrinder.

VM will receive a morale point (one to three) for each strongpoint taken. VM must have a certain number of morale points each game turn (there were negotiations going on in Europe between VM and France. Both sides had a very strong interest of being in control of DBP when the talks started in earnest), so if Giap is too cautious his army will loose faith. If he is too aggressive his battle trained army will kill itself on the wires of DBP and become unfit for any further assault. If the French player manages to defend and slow down the VM assault and kill as many steps as possible while saving enough of his own units it might come to a point where the VM player will not be able to continue.

Examples of counter art from Dien Bien Phu

Join the Dien Bien Phu group. The game is being demonstrated there.

The map and the system has evolved. It will be a very exciting game.

 

You can see the map as it is now here: http://www.kangerproject.com/DienBienPhu/Dien-Bien-Phu.jpg

Take a look at the latest updated DBP map:

http://www.kangerproject.com/DienBienPhu/Dien-Bien-Phu.jpg

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