August 13, 1970. The Khe Ta Laou Valley. The famous “O’ Deuce” combat assaults into the FSB Barnett AO in search of the NVA 7th Front Headquarters complex.

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August 13, 1970.  The Khe Ta Laou Valley.  The famous “O’ Deuce” combat assaults into the FSB Barnett AO in search of the NVA 7th Front Headquarters complex.  It’s the very last phase of “Operation Texas Star”, and a sort of payback for the successful NVA siege of FSB Ripcord in July.  Based on new intel, the Americans finally have a chance to destroy an NVA staging area that has been totally untouched for years, while battles have raged around it in every direction of the compass.  But it won’t be easy.

The NVA have been safe in the valley since the before the U.S. was even in Vietnam.  The valley is honeycombed with bunker complexes and a trail and road infrastructure that gives the NVA interior lines, high speed mobility and a perfect defensive position.  The Americans are from the famous 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile) and they have been fighting in the mountains west of Hue along the Laotian border for two years.  If anyone can successfully deliver a knockout to the NVA in their own backyard, it’s the Screaming Eagles.

“13th Valley - 2/502 in the Khe Ta Laou August 1970” combines a traditional hex and counter design with the movement, combat and fire-support systems from Cadet Games’ other Vietnam operational titles (They Were Soldiers, Dak To - Hill 875 and Hamburger Hill).  An innovative card-draw and die rolling mechanic allows for a completely unpredictable and challenging solo experience (as the US player), or the game can be two-player with a “double-blind” hidden unit dynamic.  Either way, players will find themselves facing the same operational challenges as their US or NVA counterparts in the jungled mountains of I Corps back in 1970. The game lasts up to 13 game days with 3 turns per game day (including a night turn).  The American player needs to locate the NVA 7th Front HQ and destroy it (a single 140-meter hex located somewhere in roughly 35 square kilometers of operational space) – the NVA player (or the solo system) needs to prevent this from happening. 

Based on the real battle, players who have read the history will recognize hills 848 and 636, “comeback ridge” and the teak tree at the riverbend.  The basic unit is a platoon and the 22x34 map scale is 140 meters to a ½” hex.  Fire support elements include 3 batteries of arty at Barnett, Cobras and ARA, Skyraiders and “fast movers” with snake and nape, and the “O’ Deuce’s” own 81mm mortars.  The NVA have bunkers, weapons caches, trail-watchers, claymores, snipers, RPG teams, mortars and 30 platoons ready to defend their base area.  Whether you’re an experienced “Boonierat” or a Cherry, you’ll need skill and luck to defeat the NVA in the 13th Valley!