Back in college, I took a Vietnam War history class. That was my first time learning about the battle in the Ia Drang Valley and Landing Zone X-Ray. We read They Were Soldiers Once and Young. Learned more about it when I watched the Ken Burns documentary series on the war. And soon, I might be able to play it out for myself on the tabletop. They Were Soldiers is a new strategy board game up on Kickstarter that looks to recreate those fateful days in Vietnam.
From the campaign:
The game is a turn-based operational level 2-player contest based on the battle for LZ X-Ray during the larger "Battle of the Ia Drang Valley" in Vietnam, 1965. There was a successful movie starring Mel Gibson made about this well-known battle for the Landing Zone. The game is challenging for both sides and historically accurate, but only takes a few hours and can be played at one sitting.
They Were Soldiers: Battle of the Ia Drang Valley lasts 15 turns. Each turn, players alternate moving and attacking each other’s forces on the game map, which is divided into hexes. Combat can include small arms firefights between adjacent units or fire missions that target hexes with artillery, airstrikes, helicopter gunships and mortars.
At the end of the combat phase, once all fire combat is complete, adjacent units may conduct close quarters combat (CQC) to decide which force will occupy contested hexes.
Each turn, after all movement and combat is completed, both sides draw cards to determine special actions for the future turns and may get reinforcements according to a preset schedule based on the history of the battle.
The campaign is up and running now and set to go for another 28 days.