Reviews of both seemed mixed, though it appeared that CDS required a pack of cards you'd have to make yourself.
With the club on 'lock down' I decided to order a copy of TMOCB largely on the basis that I couldn't face making the cards for CDS! After a quick read through of the rules when they arrived I set up my first game, USMC v VC.
TMOCB is a grid based game and requires a fair bit of scenery including six villages but I only had five suitable buildings so one was missing. The aim of the game for the US forces is to search the villages for caches of various items while ideally killing VC, taking limited losses and being careful not to kill any non-VC Vietnamese. The VC need to kill Americans and stop them searching the villages.
The USMC have a platoon of three sections, two of which are available immediately together with the platoon commander with the third and a supporting M113 arriving later. The VC get an initial two sections with three more coming on later. They need to recruit villagers to make up their numbers before facing the Americans.
The two USMC sections advance with the platoon commander between them:
The VC begin to 'encourage' villagers to join up:
The second VC section approaches another village:
One USMC section successfully searches a village and finds a valuable cache of medical supplies. They can either destroy them or, for more VP's, remove them from the battlefield:
VC numbers are increasing as they recruit more 'volunteers' for the cause:
The second USMC section searches another village but fails to find anything:
Enemy in sight! VC and USMC exchange fire rather ineffectively:
More VC are recruited. Each turn you have to mark one of your units as a 'Failed unit' which makes it harder to activate it in the next turn:
The firefight suddenly becomes vicious with four VC bases and one USMC base being hit:
The USMC platoon commander calls down an artillery strike, it does little damage though:
Another VC section moves up to support the battered one in the jungle. Another American base is down:
On the right the VC advance more men against the second USMC section:
The third USMC section and the M113 arrive and advance:
Ambush! While searching the village the third section is ambushed by two VC bases to no effect:
Another search, another ambush! Again it has no effect though and is easily dealt with:
Remarkably a hat-trick of ambushes, again with no effect!:
VC mass on the American left:
One VC section decides to attempt to assault the damaged USMC second section. They rush forwards in a mass attack:
The VC charge home!
The Americans are cut down and now have four casualties (the red counters) that they won't be able to recover as the section has been wiped out:
The victorious VC section now has the USMC platoon commander in their sights hiding in the bamboo and continue their mad rush forwards:
The platoon commander flees but loses a base. American losses are really mounting up now:
More and more VC appear but this village seems deserted as only a single base of recruits can be raised, the rest must be hiding!:
On the right both sides continue to exchange fire to little effect:
With the disastrous loss of the first section the USMC forces are in a grim position, they have only found a single cache, a couple of peasants have been caught in the crossfire and the VC firmly hold the remaining villages to search. The M113 moves up to see what it can contribute:
The USMC platoon leader is holed up in the village but the VC pursue him relentlessly:
The M113 is quite effective and starts to mow down some VC, though this is made harder as they have gone to ground:
The VC section catches up with the USMC platoon leader. He elects to fight it out:
The M113 has wiped out one VC section but it looks too little too late:
So, what did I think of the rules? Well firstly they are a bit confusing with rules scattered through the book in among army lists,terrain effects etc. Once I got going though they moved quite quickly though I am sure I made some errors.
Basically they rely on rolling a number of die per unit requiring a number to achieve different actions. So for example to move into an open space for a USMC section needs you to roll one 3 or above on 7 dice. Each time you make an action you lose one dice so to continue that example to move a second square in the open would need a 3 on six dice. If you choose to stop activating a unit before they fail you can use the full die allocation of the next unit whereas if your unit fails to activate any units left only get a single die to activate so the main issue is how far you push your units.
The difference between the VC and USMC is nicely handled, the VC are rated 'raw' and only have six dice to activate compared to the marines 7 (though the marines lose two dice if they are not within command distance of the platoon leader while the VC have no leader), fire much worse and have a worse saving throw but can be hard to shift especially if they use the 'down' action in cover. They also assault well.
Next I'll read through the rules again (I already noticed I did the ambushes wrongly, the rules were a bit confusing on those) and give it another go maybe with an NVA force next time.