US Order of Battle in Campaign Series: Vietnam

United States Order of Battle – Campaign Series: Vietnam

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a functioning organizational structure for the Americans that was simplified but spanned from 1948 to 1985. This simplified version was the basis for the Vietnam game and served as a starting point for a couple handfuls of scenarios that were created by Stephane Moutin-Luyat.

However, as I detailed in my previous post about the German Order of Battle in the coming East Front III game, we had set a new standard how to depict orders of battles. Full, platoon-scale availability of all units, for all branches, separately and individually.

Then, the only solution here was to create platoons for each of the various branches for the US military as well.

Woah, what? Madness. Madness indeed!

Four main branches were chosen as they would have the largest impact when playing the game;

  • Army,
  • Cavalry,
  • USMC and
  • Airborne.

Fortunately, with the new six-digit UID, expanding the platoon file to incorporate all the new platoon ID’s was sweet and simple. The classification for the platoon ID’s is as follows:

US Order of Battle in Campaign Series: Vietnam

PXX0001 – PXX0499 Tanks, Light Tanks, Self-propelled Gun (as SU-100) 
PXX0500 – PXX0599 Cavalry Tanks, Light Tanks, Self-propelled Gun (as SU-100) 
PXX0600 – PXX0799 Marine Tanks, Light Tanks, Self-propelled Gun (as SU-100) 
PXX0800 – PXX0999 Airborne Tanks, Light Tanks, Self-propelled Gun (as SU-100) 
PXX1001 – PXX1499 Artillery (Self-propelled and towed) 
PXX1500 – PXX1599 Cavalry Artillery (Self-propelled and towed) 
PXX1600 – PXX1799 Marine Artillery (Self-propelled and towed) 
PXX1800 – PXX1999 Airborne Artillery (Self-propelled and towed) 
PXX2000 – PXX2599 Infantry (All types) 
PXX2500 – PXX2599 Cavalry Infantry (All types) 
PXX2600 – PXX2799 Marine Infantry (All types) 
PXX2800 – PXX2999 Airborne Infantry (All types) 
PXX3000 – PXX3199 Headquarters (All types) 
PXX3200 – PXX3299 Cavalry Headquarters (All types) 
PXX3300 – PXX3399 Marine Headquarters (All types) 
PXX3400 – PXX3499 Airborne Headquarters (All types) 
PXX4000 – PXX4199 Leaders (All types) 
PXX4200 – PXX4299 Cavalry Leaders (All types) 
PXX4300 – PXX4399 Marine Leaders (All types) 
PXX4400 – PXX4499 Airborne Leaders (All types) 
PXX5000 – PXX5999 Off-map Airplanes (All types) 
PXX6000 – PXX6199 Reconnaissance Vehicles (Armoured Cars, Recce Jeeps, etc) 
PXX6200 – PXX6299 Cavalry Reconnaissance Vehicles (Armoured Cars, Recce Jeeps, etc) 
PXX6300 – PXX6399 Marine Reconnaissance Vehicles (Armoured Cars, Recce Jeeps, etc) 
PXX6400 – PXX6499 Airborne Reconnaissance Vehicles (Armoured Cars, Recce Jeeps, etc) 
PXX6500 – PXX6649 Helicopters and ON MAP aircraft (All types) 
PXX6650 – PXX6699 Cavalry Helicopters and ON MAP aircraft (All types) 
PXX6700 – PXX6749 Marine Helicopters and ON MAP aircraft (All types) 
PXX6750 – PXX6799 Airborne and ON MAP aircraft (All types) 
PXX6800 – PXX6899 Naval Units (Boats, Landing Craft, etc) 
PXX6900 – PXX6999 Marine Naval Units (Boats, Landing Craft, etc) 
PXX7000 – PXX7399 Transport units (All types of Trucks, APC’s, IFV’s, etc) 
PXX7400 – PXX7499 Cavalry Transport units (All types of Trucks, APC’s, IFV’s, etc) 
PXX7500 – PXX7699 Marine Transport units (All types of Trucks, APC’s, IFV’s, etc) 
PXX7700 – PXX7999 Airborne Transport units (All types of Trucks, APC’s, IFV’s, etc) 
PXX8000 – PXX8199 Antiaircraft (Self-propelled, towed, man portable) 
PXX8200 – PXX8299 Cavalry Antiaircraft (Self-propelled, towed, man portable) 
PXX8300 – PXX8399 Marine Antiaircraft (Self-propelled, towed, man portable) 
PXX8400 – PXX8499 Airborne Antiaircraft (Self-propelled, towed, man portable) 
PXX8500 – PXX8799 Rail 
PXX8800 – PXX8999 Misc Buildings, special units (Factories, News Crews, etc) 
PXX9000 – PXX9399 Antitank (Self-propelled, towed, man portable) 
PXX9400 – PXX9499 Cavalry Antitank (Self-propelled, towed, man portable) 
PXX9500 – PXX9699 Marine Antitank (Self-propelled, towed, man portable) 
PXX9700 – PXX9999 Airborne Antitank (Self-propelled, towed, man portable

The process involved taking a copy of the existing US platoons and triplicating them and then assigning the proper platoons for each of the branches while removing the platoons that the branches didn’t use. Those curious will see in the organization editor that a lot of the same platoons are available for all branches (trucks, jeeps, engineers) but will be coded with the UID specifically for the branch. Doing this resulted in 1,911 unique platoon ID’s.

Weapon values and graphics were assigned for each of the new platoons. Each platoon type has a unique graphics, so an Army M48 can look different than a Cavalry M48, USMC M48 or an Airborne M48, if one wanted to go crazy with the visual details.

Proofing the US Order of Battle for the upcoming games

As noted above, the organizations span between 1948 and 1985. This means that the US Organizations are ready for future games and DLC’s; including, Cold War and Korea. I didn’t spend a lot of time in the details for the pre-Vietnam and post-Vietnam eras, but the generic organizations are there. For the Vietnam era, I made the effort of researching and building the combat divisions, brigades and regiments that were in the Vietnam theatre. I admit, I probably missed some, but a valiant effort was made to include them.

Sources

Campaign Series Vietnam US Order of Battle

A variety of sources were used for the United States organizations. Shelby L Stanton’s Vietnam Order of Battle and a plethora of Gordon Rottman’s Vietnam Osprey books. More importantly was reviewing the hundreds of After Action Reports and Lessons Learned reports by the various divisions and brigades during the war and gleaning them for information.

One thing to note is that the organizations that are included for the Vietnam era are designed as the general organizational structure of the division for that year. It will be up a scenario designer to revise the structure to be “Organized for Combat”, as this changed on a task per task basis. The fundamentals are there for the designer, but they have a little massaging to do after.

3D unit bases

Campaign Series Vietnam 3D Unit Bases
Knowing that we are working on Vietnam, Gary (known better as callsign XLVIII Panzerkorp in the various Matrix Games fora) supplied a variety of unit bases for the difference branches for the Americans. These included the Army, Cavalry, Marines, Navy, Special Forces, Tac Air, Air Force and the Airborne.

Campaign Series Vietnam 3D Unit Bases

 

That’s awesome! Thank you, Gary!

2D counters

Campaign Series Vietnam 2D counter bases
We have not forgotten you boardgame fans out there either. Crossroads modeled a separate chit base for each of the base, similar to what Gary had done in 3D. Thank you Petri!

Conclusion

This was a mammoth task started to provide a better visual experience for the player. We really hope you enjoy the results!

Thank you for your support!
Jason Petho

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