Vietnam ‘65: General Strategy Guide & Tips

A general guide to Vietnam ’65’s units and their uses, plus some strategy tips.



(Guide photo taken by Hoach Le Dinh)
Vietnam 65 is a pretty awesome little strategy game. However, it can be quite daunting and frustrating to begin with.

This guide should give you some basic tips to start getting you Decisive Victories on Veteran level.

Gameplay Basics

In Vietnam ’65 you control US and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) forces engaged in an ongoing struggle with Vietcong (VC) and North Vietnamese Army (NVA) troops.

The game centres around two key “resources” : “Hearts and Minds” (H&M) and “Political Power” (PolPow).

Both of these resources are vital to your success – H&M determines who actually wins the game, while PolPow dictates what units you can requisition for the fight and whether you can reinforce damaged units.

The NVA and Vietcong factions you will be fighting are both formidable, but in slightly different ways. See the Enemies section for more details.

In order to counter these threats you have a variety of different troop and vehicle types to help you. See the Units section.

Finally we need an overall effective strategy – see the Strategy section.



This is essentially the most important resource in the game. Without political power, your forces can be reduced to being completely useless. With no power you won’t be able to heal injured infantry at your HQ, and you won’t be able to order any new units.

This situation can quickly snowball into a complete loss of control followed by losing the game. Conversely, if you can keep Political Power high, the struggle can snowball towards victory as you call in more and more units to tip battles in your favour.

Political Power is lost whenever an enemy completely destroys one of your units (-1000), and by the presence of any NVA bases in the region (-250 a turn, per base).

On the other hand, Political Power is gained (+1000) whenever an enemy unit is destroyed. This amount is consistent no matter what enemy you are destroying. Enemies that flee but are not destroyed do not count.

By default you start with 10,000 Political Power.


Despite Political Power being vital to your actual success on the battlefield, it really doesn’t mean anything if your Hearts and Minds score is low at the end of the game.

This is basically a victory counter, and reflects the support the local population has for you (or, if below 50%, the support they have for the enemy).

<60% H&M score will show a US flag symbol in a heart at the top of the screen, and if you maintain this until the end of the game (default Turn 45) you will win a Decisive Victory, the best outcome.

50-59% H&M score will show an ARVN flag symbol. This denotes a US Victory and is the second best outcome.

49-41% H&M score shows the Vietcong flag (red and turquoise). This score means you have lost the game if allowed to persist to Turn 45.

Anything below 40% will show an NVA flag. This represents a crushing US defeat.

The total H&M score reflected in this value is an averaged loyalty value for every village on the map. Individual villages may be loyal to the US (a “full” loyalty score), the ARVN (a “mid” loyalty score), the VC (a “negative” loyalty score making them sympathise with the enemy) or the NVA (these guys actively hate you).

The flag on each village denotes their loyalty level. This flag is only updated when your troops visit the village – therefore “hostile” NVA and VC villages may appear friendly on the map if you haven’t been there yet.

On the surface, it would appear that making trips to villages is the key to maintaining H&M score. This is partially true. Every trip you make to a village, and any time you sweep locally for mines (once per “campfire” outside the village) you get a small boost to your H&M score. You also get Intel (see the Villages section).

However, the H&M gained from visits is quite small. The real gain in H&M comes from protecting the towns from Vietcong troops by killing them before they can harass the town. I specifically say Vietcong, since VC troops give the biggest town H&M bonus when killed.

Killing VC gives a large H&M bonus to the nearest town. Killing NVA troops gives a small H&M bonus to the entire map. There is a similar effect when you destroy an NVA base. (The base building behaviour of the NVA will be explored in the Enemies section).

H&M is lost when your units take casualties (even when not destroyed, a vehicle getting hit with an RPG or some infantry injuries will lower H&M). It is also lowered massively in a local area if Vietcong troops manage to enter a town and harass the locals.

In short, to win you must max H&M score. To max H&M score, liaise with villages and more importantly, be sure to protect them.


Throughout the game, you will be fighting the Vietcong (VC) and North Vietnamese Army (NVA)

These two enemies are similar in armament but quite different in their behaviour and nature of threat in-game.



These guys are guerrilla fighters through and through and in many ways they are your primary enemy. If you lose the game, it’s pretty much always due to the actions of the VC specifically.

They are exclusively Infantry and are usually lightly armed with AK rifles. On the map they look like Vietnamese civilians with AKs. Their group size varies from small to the same size as a US Infantry squad.

In a straight up fight against US Infantry, they will usually lose. Doubly so if they are ambushed by the US Infantry.

However, they don’t engage you in a straight fight unless forced to.

They have several important traits:

– They can spawn pretty much anywhere in the jungle around the map.

– There are usually quite a few squads (“cadres”) of them on the map and their numbers can grow quite quickly if H&M score starts dropping too low.

– Like the NVA, they do seem to have some preference for spawning from the West of the map (which is the Cambodian border). However this is not always the case and they frequently appear from any other direction, including behind your lines.

– They have the ability to plant mines (which they usually do on roads and in/around villages).

– They will sometimes wait in ambush stance for your troops, though this is fairly rare and they sometimes lose anyway due to their weaker combat abilities.

– Their most dangerous ability is visiting and intimidating villages. This will rapidly lower your Hearts and Minds score and turn the village to the enemy side if it is not countered.

– They will sometimes form small (2 man) squads armed with RPGs. These squads will tend to just sit in one position for extended periods of time, until killed or they score a hit on a helicopter (in which case they will disband afterwards).

– Occasionally, they mount attacks on US Forward Operating Bases (FOBs). This can actually work to your advantage if you Ambush them with Infantry stationed at the FOBs.

– When defeated there are two outcomes: they are killed (the best outcome for the US player) or they “retreat”. However, Vietcong enemies cannot retreat when defeated and attack again later (unlike the NVA). Instead they will drop their rifles and scatter when a retreat outcome happens. They are still removed from the game as if dead, but they will give you no Political Power when this happens. It’s essentially a “mediocre” combat outcome for the US player.

– Killing VC units awards 1000 Political Power and gives a large H&M bonus to the nearest town, which can start pushing your score up quite rapidly and helps make towns more loyal to you.


SUMMARY: The Vietcong are fairly soft targets in a straight fight and lack any vehicular units. They don’t have bases and instead spawn in the jungle and wander around harassing villages.

Nonetheless they are dangerous when hidden and hard to pin down and locate. Their main threat comes in their stealth abilities, their ability to turn towns against you and their ability to traverse the jungle better than US troops.

These guys should be a priority whenever you have the chance to attack them with anything other than Engineers or Green Berets. Engineers and Green Berets are very vulnerable in fights with them.

Although they are “easier” to kill than the NVA troops, do not be cocky. Treat them like the primary threat to your chances of winning.


The North Vietnamese Army


The NVA are the “official” version of the Vietcong. These guys are a professional frontline army of the more traditional kind, though they still employ guerrilla warfare tactics similar to the Vietcong very effectively.

Unlike the Vietcong, who are more interested in subverting the villages, damaging your H&M score, the NVA prefers to deploy heavier units and exclusively focuses on attacking your units and trying to damage your military power.

NVA troops can be recognised by their dark olive drab uniform and RPG launchers. They usually come in medium sized squads.

Some important traits of the NVA:

– They don’t intimidate towns like the VC. This actually makes them significantly less dangerous to your H&M score, and means they can’t turn towns against you on their own.

– NVA troops will originally enter the map exclusively from the West border. They cannot spawn around the map like the VC. They only enter the map in greater numbers if the Hearts and Minds score is low.

– Killing NVA troops awards 1000 Political Power as with VC. However, it also awards a small H&M boost to every village instead of a large boost to the nearest village.

– If not killed as the combat outcome, NVA troops will instead retreat. Unlike VC they don’t simply scatter and disband, they actually retreat and hide somewhere else. If not chased up and killed, they will reposition to ambush you again.

– Unlike the VC, they build forward bases on the map. This is actually their most dangerous trait, as it directly erodes your Political Power by 250 every turn that the base is alive. Eliminating these bases should be a priority and also awards 1000 Political Power.

– KEY POINT: NVA bases can only be established near villages that support the VC or NVA due to a low Hearts & Minds score.

– NVA Bases can spawn both NVA troops (which are frequently armed with RPGs and are harder to kill than VC squads) and PT-76 tanks.

– PT-76 tanks are roughly comparable in threat to American Patton tanks. They can only take one hit before being destroyed (unlike the Patton’s two) however they can be quite hard to hit and can be sent out by the NVA in fairly high numbers if they have several bases.


SUMMARY: The NVA are like a force multiplier for the VC. The more the VC harass the villages and the lower the H&M score falls, the beefier and more numerous the NVA becomes.

The NVA can effectively distract you from eliminating the VC, which will cause your problems to snowball. They’re also more dangerous to your frontline units, and will set up mines around their bases.

However, the numbers of the NVA can also be used to your advantage – killing large numbers of NVA units can reward you with a huge amount of Political Power and get you back on track to winning the game.

US Units (Part 1)

Now we’re acquainted with the insidious threat before us, what do we use to counter it?

This is where the US units (and their ARVN allies) come into play.



– US Infantry – 1000 Political Power: Incremental Cost = 250.

– Green Berets – 4000 Political Power: Incremental Cost = 250.

– ARVN Infantry – FREE. Trained by Green Berets (x2 per Forward Base).


– Engineer – 4000 Political Power. Incremental Cost = 250.

– M113 APC – 1000 Political Power: Incremental Cost = 500.

– M48 Patton Tank – 1500 Political Power: Incremental Cost = 500.


– Huey Transport Helicopter – 2750 Political Power: Incremental Cost = 250.

– Chinook Transport Helicopter – 4000 Political Power: Incremental Cost = 250.

– AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter – 3000 Political Power: Incremental Cost = 1000.


– Artillery – 4000 Political Power: Incremental Cost = 500.


– Main HQ Building



These guys are your bread and butter troops. They are a strange unit – both indispensable and yet in many situations they can be useless. Having too many of them can actually lose you the game.

First of all, they are one of only three units in the game that have a sight range for spotting enemy troops. However this is only one hex long and so they’re still pretty dreadful at recon.

They can also clear mines, which is always useful.

They are absolutely necessary, especially in the early game, for visiting Villages. Only US Infantry and ARVN Infantry can visit villages, so this is their niche.

In combat they are quite effective. They will usually reliably kill VC troops in combat, especially if in Ambush stance. If you’re unlucky they might take some casualties, and they might lose badly if ambushed. They can also take on NVA troops with slightly less effectiveness.

With Veterancy levels from combat, they can actually take on PT-76 tanks and NVA infantry with some degree of reliability, though they should not be used aggressively against armour unless absolutely necessary.

The biggest negative of US Infantry is their low mobility and absolutely terrible mobility in Jungle tiles. They are almost entirely reliant on Hueys and Chinooks for mobility, which is a liability later in the game where your transport choppers are mostly needed to supply other units.

This reliance on choppers also means you can’t really use them to engage VC in Jungle hexes at all – you can’t land there, so the VC will simply get away before you can deploy Infantry against them.

Also bad for engaging RPG squads – the chopper will get damaged when dropping them in to engage. NVA can still be killed but VC troops will shoot the chopper and then run away, ruining your attack completely.

Therefore I’d say keep the 3 squads you start with and mostly use them to staff Forward Bases and occasionally visit Villages. Don’t buy any more unless you really have to for some reason.

– Cheap
– Good combat strength
– Can sweep mines
– Can Ambush for bonus damage
– Useful for defending bases
– Useful for visiting Villages

– Almost useless in Jungle and for crossing rivers.
– Eat through supplies quickly when not in a base
– Terrible movement – almost entirely reliant on helicopters.
– Not very good for hunting down VC due to their bad movement, must rely on being defensive.


4000 Political Power for an Infantry unit? What insanity is this?

Well, Green Berets more than earn their cost. This is a FANTASTIC unit, in fact these fellows are pretty much the one thing that will win you the game. Getting more units of them is essential as the enemy count ramps up.

These Special Forces soldiers are recon and stealth specialists. This allows them to be ignored by the enemy most of the time, even when right next to them – VC and NVA units will only engage them if they accidentally blunder into them.

They also have a huge 3 hexes of sight range, by far the best in the game. You can’t kill the enemy if you can’t see them, so this is very helpful.

They are also not slowed down at all by dense Jungle.

Finally, they can sweep mines like regular Infantry and can also train ARVN soldiers for free (!). However, this eats up 3 turns per unit trained, and they can only train units at Forward Bases – 2 ARVN units per base.

Essentially, use these guys as your eyes and ears. They will spot VC and NVA soldiers from miles away when left near village perimeters, allowing you to attack them with longer ranged units before they can do any harm.

They do have disadvantages – due to their small unit size they suck in direct combat and training ARVN makes them unable to be scouting for you for quite a while.

They also cannot liaise with villages, unlike US Infantry and ARVN Infantry.

– Incredible Recon unit, essential for detecting enemies and actually winning the game.
– Unhindered by rough terrain and Jungle, can roam around without needing a chopper.
– Can train free ARVN Infantry units for you at Forward Bases.
– Have a high supply cap of 8, allowing them to remain out in Jungle hexes for a long time scouting for you.
– Can sweep mines

– Can’t visit Villages.
– Very weak in direct combat, reliant on support from other units.
– Very expensive
– Despite supply cap being high, they’ll often need a chopper to fly out and give them supplies directly since they’ll be miles from a base.
– Training ARVN means they’re not scouting for you for several turns.



Local soldiers of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam allied to the US, these men are trained in jungle warfare by your Green Berets.

They are comparable to US Infantry with some caveats.

– They are slightly weaker in combat (but still capable, especially if used to Ambush)
– They can get better outcomes from visiting Villages, since they are local troops and not foreigners.
– They’re free and cost you no Political Power to recruit.

– Free! No Political Power cost.
– Can sweep mines
– Can Ambush enemies
– Improved intelligence gain from visiting Villages over US Infantry
– Can be used in bulk to defend forward bases and Ambush in hotspots.
– Can become similarly skilled at fighting as US Infantry with Veterancy.

– They take 3 full turns for your Green Berets to train up. This is time that might be better spent actually locating VC and NVA troops.
– They are weaker at fighting to begin with than US Infantry
– Same terrible mobility as US Infantry in Jungle hexes.
– Not very good for assault missions, mostly useful as auxiliary defensive troops and mine clearers.

US Units (Part 2)


The engineer is a vehicle unit that is very vulnerable in combat, but has a lot of utility on the battlefield. Like the Green Berets, this unit is ESSENTIAL to winning the game.

Engineers can clear Jungle hexes one hex at a time for 200 Political Power. This is very helpful near Villages that you otherwise can’t get helicopters out to.

They can also build roads one hex at a time for free.

Forward Bases can be constructed for a mere 1000 Political Power. These bases should be used liberally between towns to construct a route of “checkpoints” where Transport Helicopters can pause while carrying supplies and artillery shells to where they are needed. Infantry can also wait here until they are needed for a patrol.

Any unit that ends its turn in a Forward Base uses no fuel/supplies, and Infantry will regenerate 1 Supply Cap for every turn they sit in a Forward Base.

Even more essential is the Firebase. The Firebase is a unique “Forward HQ” building of sorts and you can only have one. It can do everything the Main HQ does with the exception of providing artillery shells and healing injured infantry/vehicles. It can refuel helicopters and tanks for free just like the main HQ.

The Firebase is once again basically key to winning. Put it towards the West of the map, in a central position if possible. It will allow all your heavy vehicles and Transport Helicopters to refuel and rearm much closer to the fight.

Choppers can also collect supply crates from the Firebase and very quickly fly them out to Green Berets and other Infantry, rather than having to go all the way back to the HQ. The only thing you need the HQ for after this is healing and artillery shells.

Finally, the Engineer can refuel and repair vehicles for a cost of 200 Political Power, providing the vehicle(s) are at a Forward Base. This can be very helpful on the frontlines on attack choppers and tanks. The Engineer can also repair itself at a base if needed with the same ability.

– Can repair and refuel vehicles at a Forward Base for a small (200 Political Power) cost.
– Can clear Jungle for Landing Zones or a Forward Base for 200 Political Power per hex.
– Can build roads for free, 1 hex per turn. These speed up movement significantly.
– Can build the extremely useful US Firebase (for free!) for refuelling and resupplying on the frontlines.
– Can build Forward Bases to halt the supply use of your units, and slowly replenish Supply of Infantry stationed there.
– Can sometimes kill small units of VC that attack it, assuming they don’t have an RPG. Rare, though.

– Very expensive.
– Very slow. Easily the worst disadvantage. Faster than Infantry in Jungle, but still slow. Building roads takes a long time and clearing Jungle is the same.
– Very vulnerable to RPGs and no sight range.
– Must be supported and protected by other units.


M113 APC

An Armoured Personnel Carrier, the M113 does what it says on the tin.

It’s cheap at only 1000 Political Power for your first unit and can help extend the operational lifespan of your Infantry before they have to come back for a resupply. It can also be fairly quick on roads, and will usually slaughter VC who don’t have RPGs.

The main advantage of the APC is its ability to move faster through Jungle tiles than base Infantry.

This can make Infantry much more effective at getting to enemy targets in thick Jungle, or travelling between multiple villages.

However since the APC requires fuel, and can only be refuelled by an Engineer, Firebase or HQ, they are often restricted to travelling between Forward Bases, which is a significant disadvantage.

Overall a handy utility unit, but not usually a game-changer.

– Cheap.
– Quite lethal in combat against VC Infantry.
– Good unit for defending Forward Bases and nearby villages from VC, since it can move out and attack Infantry and then drop back again without using much fuel.
– Can carry Artillery Shells or Supplies from the base instead of Infantry.
– Inherits the sight radius of Infantry inside it. Not sure, but this might mean you can transport Berets and give it a 3 Hex sight radius – makes up for Green Berets’ bad offensive stats.
– Fairly good movement on roads and better than Infantry on foot in Jungle hexes.

– Enhances your Infantry, but still doesn’t completely nullify their disadvantages.
– Full effectiveness is dependent on your Engineers spending time building roads, which isn’t really viable on some maps.
– Requires a string of Forward Bases to avoid using up fuel.
– Difficult to refuel unless you have several Engineers or a close Firebase.
– Not mobile enough to counter the VC in many situations.
– Vulnerable to RPGs or NVA tanks.


M48 Patton Tank

The Patton Tank is a your heaviest armoured fighting vehicle.
Like the Cobra Attack Helicopter and Artillery, the M48 has the ability to strike enemies from several tiles away at range at no risk to itself.

The M48 is effective against all types of enemy unit, though it still offers quite poor kill chances against NVA tanks on its own (~50% per shot).

Use of the Patton tank is quite simple – it should be driven to a Forward Base or Firebase and used as a defensive tool. It can move two Jungle Hexes a turn, allowing more offensive use than Infantry, but it’s still not particularly well suited for offensive missions due to this restricted mobility.

The Patton is essentially a cheap “kill unit” that can mop up VC roaming around on the roads between your Forward Bases, and can also hit VC who are hiding in the first few Jungle tiles that your Infantry can’t get to. For it’s low cost it’s fairly useful.

– Cheap.
– Annihilates VC Infantry at no risk to itself.
– Good at attacking VC who are hiding just inside a few Jungle Hexes.
– Can engage hard targets like NVA bases and tanks.
– Good unit for defending Forward Bases and nearby villages from VC.
– Fairly good movement on roads and better than Infantry on foot in Jungle hexes.

– Much slower than the Cobra helicopter.
– Very dependent on fuel supply, so limited to Forward Bases, areas near Engineers and Firebases.
– Full effectiveness is dependent on your Engineers spending time building roads, which isn’t really viable on some maps.
– Difficult to refuel unless you have several Engineers or a close Firebase.
– Not mobile enough to counter the VC in many situations.

US Units (Part 3)

Huey Transport Helicopter

The Huey is purely a logistics unit and cannot attack or detect enemies. However, it’s critical to winning the game.

The Huey should be daisy chained between Forward Bases as it flies troops, supplies and artillery shells across the map. This allows it to move large distances without consuming any fuel.

– Fairly cheap.
– Good movement range.
– Massively extends the operational range of your Infantry and is perfect for ferrying them to Villages.
– Can deliver Supplies and Artillery Shells both to bases and to units out in the jungle.

– Can only land on clear tiles. Cannot land on jungle, rocks, rivers or rice paddies.
– Vulnerable to hidden RPGs.
– Cannot detect or engage enemies directly.
– A low Supply Cap of 4 means it runs out of fuel quickly if away from a Forward Base or Firebase.
– Can only perform 2 “loading” operations per turn.


Chinook Transport Helicopter

The Chinook is your second type of logistics helicopter. It is functionally identical to the Huey, but has an even further increased movement range and an increased Supply Cap of 5 rather than 4.

Use it similarly to the Huey, but it has more versatility.

Also features a cool sounding engine 😉

– Excellent movement range.
– Improved duration of flight without resupply.
– Can be used to deliver Infantry but usually you’ll want to haul Supplies and Shells with it.
– Can deliver Supplies and Artillery Shells both to bases and to units out in the jungle.

– Expensive.
– Can only land on clear tiles. Cannot land on jungle, rocks, rivers or rice paddies.
– Vulnerable to hidden RPGs.
– Cannot detect or engage enemies directly.
– Can only perform 2 “loading” operations per turn.


AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter

The Cobra is a BEAST. This is the most succinct one sentence summary of this unit you can get.

Alongside Green Berets, this thing wins you games. It’s hands down your ultimate hunter-killer unit for eliminating VC and NVA patrols and earning you Political Power for more units.

The Cobra combines the large movement distance and terrain ignoring ability of the Huey helicopter with the offensive abilities of the M48 Patton Tank. Needless to say it’s a lethal combination and a properly used Cobra can rack up huge kill counts without taking damage.

Every game I take an extra Green Beret squad ASAP and one of these babies. By the end of the game, unless I’m trying for some weird achievement, I will have at least 2-3 Cobras.

It’s great for kickstarting your early game and taking out VC in the thick jungles, and later on can be used to eliminate NVA bases, tanks and RPG ambushes.

NOTE – If you’re new to the game, make sure you are attacking with the “crosshairs” button, and not flying directly into enemies. The Cobra is very weak in direct combat when it “runs into” other units, but very strong with it’s ranged crosshair attack.

– Excellent movement range.
– Often kills enough VC and NVA troops to quickly pay for itself in Political Power.
– Equally effective in thick jungle or open ground.
– Your best “rapid response” unit.
– Lethal against Infantry and also useful (albeit less deadly) against armoured targets and bases.
– Not too expensive given it’s fantastic versatility, though the cost goes up quite sharply per unit acquired.

– Still not cheap, even though it’s less expensive than some other units.
– Small Supply Cap of 4 means it will need to refuel regularly if away from Forward Bases or the Firebase.
– May require an Engineer to refuel it from a Forward Base if engaged in a lot of fighting.
– Cannot detect enemies itself.
– Bad at direct engagements and weak when attacked by enemy units. Vulnerable to RPGs if it is flying over a blind area – always scout ahead with Green Berets and attack from a distance.


Artillery is a mixed bag. In many ways it is very useful, however it can also be annoyingly limited.

Essentially Artillery is like a less versatile Cobra. You can kill hard targets like tanks and bases with it, and it can fire from a long range. It is very effective against Infantry.

However, unlike the Cobra it has zero mobility unless paired with a Huey/Chinook, and can be set up only at Forward Bases/Firebases/HQ.

Also unlike the Cobra, while it doesn’t need fuel, it *does* need Artillery Shells. These can only be sourced from HQ, and Artillery can only fire 4 shots before it will need shells delivered to it. This makes it quite dependent on having a specific helicopter dedicated to ferrying shells to it.

You start the game with one Artillery unit and it can be quite potent when paired with Green Berets and used to cover the area that your Cobra cannot get to without expending fuel at the end of the turn. It’s also good for defending Forward Bases and nearby Villages.

However given that it’s actually more expensive than the Cobra (!) at a whopping 4000 Political Power, I would almost always get another Cobra over another Artillery unit.

(Side note: I actually think if I were to rebalance the game I would make the Artillery cost 2500 Political Power, and halve the amount of shots it can make to 2 before resupply is needed. This would make it a little more useful as a backup unit without making it overpowered.)

– Good range.
– Very effective against Infantry.
– Quite effective against tanks and NVA bases.
– Quite mobile when paired with a Huey/Chinook.

– Completely immobile on its own.
– Requires shells that can only be brought in from the HQ.
– Very expensive for an immobile unit, more expensive than the Cobra (!)
– Requires a base it can be situated in.

Main HQ Building

Just as a final note, I thought I’d include the HQ building you start with, since the other buildings were included in the Engineer section.

The main HQ is an invaluable base but tends to grow less important in the late mid-game/end-game once you have your Firebase established.

It still has several uses the Firebase cannot fulfil, however.

– Can refuel vehicles for free.
– Fully resupplies any unit left there a turn for free.
– Fully heals injured Infantry (assuming Political Power available) after 1 turn.
– Can provide Artillery Shells as well as Supplies.
– Fully repairs vehicles for free.

– Completely immobile.
– Inevitably ends up situated a long way from the action.
– Requires a “daisy chain” of Forward Bases to enable your Hueys/Chinooks to effectively transport casualties and supplies/shells long distances.
– Less important in the end-game, tends to take a backseat to the Firebase for many basic supply tasks due to proximity.

General Strategy

Now we’re informed regarding our possible unit choices, our enemies and how resources work, finally let’s cover some basic strategy tips.



Search and Destroy is the main operational strategy that is going to allow you to effectively counter the guerrilla tactics of the VC and NVA.

What’s this in the simplest possible terms?

STEP 1 – Locate the enemy.
STEP 2 – Destroy the enemy.

This may seem obvious, but understanding it properly is key to winning the game.

Note that these two steps are completely dependent on one another to be effective – this is the crux of strategy in Vietnam ’65.

If you can locate a VC squad, but you can’t attack them immediately before they reposition, this is useless.

If you have overwhelming military power but you can’t locate the enemy, this is also useless.

For this reason, you must use your Recon element (Green Berets) as a firm pairing for your actual killing units (Artillery, Cobras, Infantry, Tanks/Mechanised). Make sure, especially in the early game when your “killer units” are limited, that you have the sight radius of your Green Berets covered with an overlapping operational range of your attack units.

In short, don’t let your Green Berets wander off on their own and monitor a random region or faraway Village you can’t quickly deploy attack units to. Instead use them to alert your nearby attack units and destroy the enemy immediately before they can escape.



If a US unit completely runs it’s Supply Cap to 0, it will show a red crate symbol. At the end of the turn, it will be destroyed just as if it had been killed by the enemy. This is disastrous.

When a unit is sitting around rather than actively being used, park it in a Forward Base. This is especially useful for Engineers and Infantry, which will often spend time idling when not building or patrolling respectively.

Understand the difference between resupply, rearming with shells and refuelling – vehicles may only be refuelled at the HQ, Firebase or by an Engineer for 200 Political Power. Resupply only fully “refreshes” Infantry units and Engineers. Artillery can only be rearmed with shells from the HQ, and cannot be “resupplied” with supply crates.



Map generation in this game makes a huge difference. In every game, a slightly different map is generated.

Some maps have almost all of the Villages nestled in thick jungle. It is essential you prioritise cutting a hole in this jungle in a hex next to the Village to allow your helicopters to quickly deploy troops to the village, otherwise they will inevitably become NVA strongholds and damage your H&M score heavily.

Do this early in the game – later on, NVA and VC activity will make it very dangerous for your Engineer to proceed out to the isolated Village alone.



The units you require differ with both the map generation and the units you already have.

If you have two Cobra helicopters for example, but only one Green Beret squad, chances are you are lacking Recon and so a lot of VC and NVA activity is going undetected while your helicopters are sitting around idle. Get another Green Beret squad.

On the other hand if you have three Green Beret squads spotting lots of VC but no versatile units to actually kill the enemy with, you are very likely going to lose unless you invest in a Cobra and some Artillery.

Similarly, if the map at the start has a ton of thick Jungle, perhaps consider having 2 Engineering units instead of 1 for the early game. Or if you see a lot of roads and your HQ is near them, consider building roads with a second Engineer and making more use of tanks.

Don’t just follow a “build order”, instead assess what you actually need. Green Berets and Cobras are kind of an exception, since they are always very useful when paired up, no matter the terrain.



The Firebase the Engineer can build is:
1 – Free (!)
2 – An absolute game changer in the right position.

Place it far to the West in a central location between the most Villages.

This will suddenly allow you to run Supplies to all your Green Berets and Infantry in 1-2 turns at most, which is extremely useful and essentially allows them to operate continuously in the jungle. You can also refuel your heavy vehicles on the front lines easily.



For the cheap, cheap cost of 1000 Political Power, Forward Bases essentially allow you to slowly resupply Infantry for nothing, train free ARVN units with your Green Berets and have the enormously powerful ability to freeze the Supply Cap cost for any unit sat in them at the end of the turn.

Pairing a Forward Base with a Cobra helicopter is fantastic. The chopper’s bad Supply Cap of 4 is suddenly irrelevant if used properly, and it can fly out, kill a target and fly back with no loss in fuel for turn after turn.

Similarly every FOB can be used to situate Artillery, or as a staging point for your Infantry to rest.

Pair Forward Bases with troops in Ambush stance and you can sometimes passively kill whole VC squads who make the poor decision to attack the base.



Every US unit can soak up one hit before it is destroyed. This hit counts as a “US casualty” (which lowers Hearts and Minds) and also leaves the unit damaged or injured. However, this is by far preferable to losing a unit, which completely wipes whatever cost the unit was.

In many cases losing a unit like a Cobra, Green Beret squad or Engineer can almost instantly lose you the game. At the least it’s a devastating setback. Be very careful when units get injured and immediately retreat them back to the HQ. The only exception is Green Berets, who are sometimes still quite safe even injured due to their stealth skills.



The VC troops are the enemy that specifically turn villages against you and spawn all over the place. They’re easier to kill than NVA troops in combat and unlike the NVA the “retreat” battle outcome destroys their unit too.

They also give a big H&M boost to nearby towns when killed, stopping the town from hosting NVA bases. For this reason, if you have the choice between killing a VC or NVA squad, the VC are the favourite target 90% of the time.

On the other hand, NVA bases should be a priority. If you see bases exist on the Map screen, move your Green Berets towards villages you suspect are hostile and you will soon find the base.



All of the VC’s most harmful actions involve reaching Villages. Keep your Green Berets covering the jungle hex approach to multiple villages and if you have enough attack units to engage them, you can totally shut them down and inflict huge casualties.

Also later on, get Berets watching the West most villages. This will alert you to any NVA incursions that don’t originate from NVA bases.



Early game, make sure you use your Airstrike call in to kill VC who are too far away. Supply Drops can be great for refreshing Green Berets in an emergency where your choppers can’t reach.

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