Brown Water Navy – Forces of War Review

Brown Water Navy

Navy SEALS… Gunships… Patrol Boats… Jets…
Amphibious Guerrilla Warefare!

So for those of you who have resisted Tour of Duty so far, I might
have grabbed your attention with some buzz words, particularly SEALS but keep
reading if your one of the people that hasn’t got into the Vietnam theatre yet
as Brown Water Navy is seriously good!
A lot of my friends don’t play Vietnam games and that might
be because of a lack of historical interest in the conflict as we come from a
tiny corner of the South of England but I’m hoping to convert a few of you over
to this Flames of War expansion.

For those of you who are interested in Vietnam, the lists are on Forces of War, the book is on Flames of War Digital and Wargames Illustrated have done a fun article. Ben even got to see a demonstration copy of Brown Water Navy in Entoyment Store and I wanted to have a look at the lists, rules and why something that should catch your attention, even in the face of other new expansions in 2015.

Elite SEALs with shotguns on point and three different ways of entering the battlefield make their way into Flames of War. These guys are like the WWII, mid-war, SAS but with some great Vietnam rules.

There are four lists in the well-presented but small book,
one for the North Vietnamese Viet Cong and three for the United States and the
South Vietnamese ARVN. The rules are also slick and easy to understand. Both
the book and Forces of War lays them out nicely. Vietnam does have a few extra
rules to read if you’re not familiar with them already, but they really make
the expansion work.

Looking at the PAVN first, this is a revised version of the
Local Forces Battalion PDF with an extra platoon for AA, support weapons that
survive being withdrawn either voluntarily or when a platoon fails a moral
test, sampan equipped resistance teams and AK47s for the Company Command.
I’ve already got the Viet Cong Company… so more AA and Sampans and I’m good to go… but I can’t resist the boats!
These troops are the ultimate in hit and fade tactics but retain
a rating of confident trained. They still get the support options from the PDF
including the special tasks company, minefields and booby traps as well as artillery
over the borer in Laos.
Mekong Delta Battlefield
PAVN ambush a river patrol after the sampans slow them down!
Now for the Americans and ARVN
The US forces are confident veteran and the ARVN can be
bought in Reluctant Trained or Fearless Trained ratings. The core to each of
these companies is the same, a company HQ that can buy a monitor boat to go
with it and a troop transport boat equipped rifle platoon.
Each of the companies get interesting variations on the
boats and support including but not limited to hospital boats, flame thrower
boats that don’t run out of fuel, artillery and mortars, air support and
gunships, Navy Seals and Medevac Choppers.
Only one boat actually has to be taken and there are lots of
options for Airmobile and mechanised platoons. The only thing the free world is
really missing from other lists are tanks.

Support for the US list, this one has the most options for all the Free World Companies. The HQ is missing up the top to make the rest fit!
Why wouldn’t you take boats though for a Brown Water game? Your
opponent can take any PAVN list and you get a combined armed force with good
synergy and great support. This list really capitalises on the US’ resilience versus
the PAVN’s numbers and local knowledge and will make for a really fun game.
I think battlefront have really captured the look of the Brown Water Navy!
I particularly like how resilient the big boats are, each
one needs big chunks blown out of it before it will go down and the crew even
beach and try and fix it before the enemy can destroy it. Your river patrol
becomes a fortress from where your infantry and gunships can strike to take objectives
and inflict casualties on the enemy. They’re also tough enough to make it
awkward but not impossible to claim that extra kill point!

So to summarise, this expansion gives you cool new units and a style of play not seen before on a type of scenery often avoided at tournaments I’ve played… water! I plan to jump into this with both feat so look forward to blogs on the boats and other models as they are released and then hopefully AARs with the Boats and SEALs being taken on by the PAVN. I might even let Ben play as the US seeing as he was forced to sell his American due to real life getting in  the way of his games.

Hopefully I’ve drawn some peoples attention to Brown Water Navy who weren’t as interested before, if not but you aren’t interested in Vietnam but read the blog anyway, I hope you enjoyed it.

Happy Hobby everyone!


5 thoughts on “Brown Water Navy – Forces of War Review

    1. I'm guessing we'll see updates on Thursday on the Flames of War website… ive been checking every day incase they updated the online store…

      Next blog… boat rules explained and how to capitalise on medics!

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