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Bad Moon Rising: The Fight for Fire Base Illingworth, April 1, 1970
Bad Moon Rising: The Fight for Fire Base Illingworth, April 1, 1970
by High Flying Dice Games (2016)
Player Count
1 to 2

Player Ages

Playing Time
1 hour to 2 hours
  • Wargame
  • Vietnam War
  • Designers
  • Paul Rohrbaugh
  • Mechanisms
  • Card Drafting
  • Artists
  • Bruce Yearian
  • Family
  • Country: Vietnam
  • Series: Standard Deck Activation System (High Flying Dice Games)
  • Rating: 6/10 from 2 users


    April 1st, 1970 was a nightmare that was not supposed to happen. The strategy of using Fire Bases (also termed Fire Support Bases) was created as part of President Nixon’s “Vietnamization” of the conflict in which US forces were gradually withdrawn and the bulk of the fighting turned over to the ARVN (Army of the Republic of [South] Vietnam). General George Casey, Sr. developed the Fire Base strategy in which US Artillery and other battlefield support assets were deliberately deployed in forward areas to disrupt the Communists’ lines of communication and supply, thereby inviting them to attack. Once the enemy was in the open and engaged the US forces would then call in massive amounts of air and artillery support to wreak devastation upon their foe. A Fire Base was only to be in one location 3 to 5 days, and extensive fortifications were not possible as everything had to be removed and redeployed by helicopter in a matter of hours. By April 1st 1970 Fire Base Illingworth had been in place for 11 days, allowing the NVA to completely map-out the American’s positions, size up the garrison, and determine its weak points. Adding to Fire Base Illingworth’s woes was the arrival of thousands of 8 inch artillery rounds on March 31st. The garrison had only hours to provide rudimentary protection for the new ammo dump by the time of the NVA’s attack.

    The survivors of Alpha Troop and Charlie Companies who were garrisoning the fire base thought they had reached a place of refuge where they could rest, recuperate, and train their newly arrived replacements (FNGs as they were derisively termed by the veterans). However, the NVA saw the opportunity to exact revenge upon the Americans grow with each passing day Fire Base Illingworth remained in place.

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