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Fire in the Lake (FIL) Updated March 27, 2024
GM:Eric Guttag (1st Year)
GM Contact:ericguttag1952@gmail.com
Event Website:N/A
Class:A – Experienced Players Only
Style:Scheduled
Format:HMW-T: Heats Most Wins - Timing
Rounds:2 Heats, Semifinal, Final
Round Length:5 Hours
Advancement:Semifinal 8, Final 4/b>
Prize Level:1

Welcome Again to the Quagmire

Good morning, Fire in the Lake fanatics! Fire in the Lake (FIL) is Volume 4 in the award-winning GMT COIN Series depicting the conflict in Vietnam during the time period of 1964-1972 involving insurgent Factions-North Vietnamese (NVA) and Viet Cong (VC)-and counterinsurgent Factions-United States (US) and South Vietnamese (ARVN). Using military, political, and economic actions and exploiting various events, players build and maneuver forces to influence or control the population, extract resources, or otherwise achieve their Faction’s aims. A deck of cards regulates turn order, events, victory checks, and other processes. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to play in the FIL tournament as it makes its return to WBC and “smell the napalm.”

Tournament Format:

Advancement to the Semifinal will be based on the Heats Most Wins – Timing Standard Tie-breakers listed below. If we have 32 or more different entrants in the Heats, the Semifinal will consist of four 4-player games. Semifinalists will be ranked according to the criteria listed below.

Players for Finals will be determined and ranked according to the following criteria:

  • If 8 Semifinalists:
    1. 2 winners (Highest Victory Margin) in each Semifinal game – tie-breaker will be in order of VC, ARVN, NVA, US
    2. Highest Non-Winning Victory Margin in each Semifinal game – tie-breaker will be in order of VC, ARVN, NVA, US
  • If 16 Semifinalists:
    1. 4 winners (Highest Victory Margin) in each Semifinal game - tie breaker will be in order of VC,ARVN, NVA, US
    2. Highest Non-Winning Victory Margin in each Semifinal game – tie-breaker will be in order of VC, ARVN, NVA, US

In the Final, winner and non-winner rankings will be determined by Highest Victory Margin – tie-breaker will be in order of VC, ARVN, NVA, US

Victory Margins for rankings are determined according to 7.1 at page 12 of the Fre in the Lake Rules of Play for the 2018 2nd Edition.

Heats, as well as Semifinal, will use the Short Scenario (no Pivotal Event Cards) with the Westy’s War marker and piece set up (see page 26 of the FIL Rules of Play from the 2018 2nd Edition, but with following modifications to Monsoon Season (2.3.9) and Coup Round Sequence (6.0):

  • Monsoon Season (2.3.9): May Air Lift ARVN units if no loss of COIN Control in space(s) from which Air Lift conducted
  • Coup Round Sequence (6.0): During the Commitment Phase (6.5), the US may only “withdraw” (add) a maximum of 6 pieces to the Available Box from the map, and no more than 15 US Troop cubes total. US Troop cubes in Casualty Box that do not go Out of play must be placed on the map using the normal Commitment Phase criteria for placement on the map; any such US Troops placed on the map in this manner count against the 10 maximum US Troop cubes that may be moved during the Commitment Phase and cannot be “withdrawn” (added) to the Available Box; if there are more than 10 such US Troop cubes remaining in the Casualty Box, the excess also go Out of Play. Also, in the 3rd and Final Coup Round only, the 3 x US pieces in the Casualty Box (6.2.5) are counted against Aid prior to determining ARVN Resources (6.2.3).

Card Sets: We will be using the 2018 2nd Edition FIL Card Sets. Some of the cards have indicia in the form of gun below Faction symbol (relevant only where Non-Player Faction is involved), For deck preparation, we will be using two preselected 28 Event Card Decks (derived from the 48 cards in the 1965 deck) referred to as Deck A and Deck B for the Heats and Semifinal. Game decks will be prepared per set up instructions on page 26 of the FIL Rules of Play for the 2018 2nd Edition but with following modification:

  • the preselected deck of 28 cards are divided into stacks of 8 (first campaign), 10 (second campaign), and 10 (third campaign).
  • Coup Cards are added/shuffled into the bottom half (i.e., last 4 or 5 cards) of each stack

We will be using Deck B for Heat #1, Deck A Heat #2, and Deck B in the Semifinal. The Event Cards for Decks A and B are as follows:

  • Tournament Deck A (28 cards)
    • #5 Wild Weasels (UNAV)
    • #8 Arc Light (UNVA)
    • #22 Da Nang (UVNA)
    • #23 Operation Attleboro (UVNA)
    • #24 Operation Starlite (UVNA)
    • #25 TF-116 Riverines (UVNA)
    • #28 Search and Destroy (UVAN)
    • #34 SA-2s (NUAV)
    • #38 McNamara Line (NUVA)
    • #46 559th Transport Group (NAVU)
    • #47 Chu Luc (NAVU)
    • #53 Sappers (NVUA)
    • #56 Vo Nguyen Giap (NVAU)
    • #64 Honolulu Conference (AUNV)
    • #67 Amphib Landing (AUVN)
    • #69 MACV (AUVN)
    • #70 ROKS (AUVN)
    • #72 Body Count (ANUV)
    • #73 Great Society (ANUV)
    • #76 Annam (ANVU)
    • #85 USAID (AVUN)
    • #86 Mandate of Heaven (AVNU)
    • #87 Nguyen Chanh Thi (AVNU)
    • #89 Tam Chau (AVNU)
    • #90 Walter Rostow (AVNU)
    • #100 Rach Ba Rai (VUAN)
    • #104 Main Force Bns (VNUA)
    • #106 Binh Duong (VNAU)
  • Tournament Deck B (modified for 28 cards):
    • #6 Aces (UNVA)
    • #7 ADSID (UNVA)
    • #14 M-48 Patton (UANV)
    • #18 Combined Action Platoons (UAVN)
    • #22 Da Nang (UVNA)
    • #24 Operation Starlite (UVNA)
    • #34 SA-2s (NUAV)
    • #38 McNamara Line (NUVA)
    • #39 Oriskany (NUVA)
    • #44 Ia Drang (NAUV)
    • #46 559th Transport Group (NAVU)
    • #59 Plei Mei (NVAU)
    • #64 Honolulu Conference (AUNV)
    • #69 MACV (AUVN)
    • #76 Annam (ANVU)
    • #78 General Lansdale (ANVU)
    • #81 CIDG (AVUN)
    • #82 Domino Theory (AVUN)
    • #85 USAID (AVUN)
    • #86 Mandate of Heaven (AVNU)
    • #90 Walter Rostow (AUNU)
    • #95 Westmoreland (VUNA)
    • #98 Long Tan (VUAN)
    • #99 Masher/White Wing (VUAN)
    • #102 Cu Chi (VNUA)
    • #104 Main Force Bns (VNUA)
    • #106 Binh Duong (VNAU)
    • #109 Nguyen Huu Tho (VNAU)

For the Final, we will use the Medium Scenario with A Better War marker and piece set up, including using the Pivotal Event Cards, (see pages 26-27 of the FIL Rules of Play for the 2018 2nd Edition), but with the modification described above for Monsoon Season (2.3.9).

Deck preparation will be per set up instructions on page 26 of the FIL Rules of Play for 2018 2nd Edition, including shuffling the entire 1968 deck, and randomly dealing out three 12 Event card stacks from that shuffled 1968 deck before random inclusion of the Coup Cards, but with the following modification:

    Coup Cards are randomly added/shuffled into the bottom half (i.e., last 6 cards) of each stack

All games will be 4-player games. For Heats, table assignments will be determined at the time of registration for each Heat. Each grouping of 4 registrants for a table will be assigned Factions randomly. For the Semifinal, table assignments will be determined according to rankings from the Heats with higher ranked players being assigned to different tables. Faction selection for each table in the Semifinal will be based on the highest ranking player having first choice and so on in order of ranking.

Rules Interpretation:

  • The 2018 2nd Edition Rules of Play for FIL, plus modifications to Monsoon Season (2.3.9), Coup Round Sequence (6.0) and deck preparation as noted above
  • The 1.5.2 (Negotiations) rule will be in effect in all Rounds
  • No shaded box options in rules 1.5 or 7.3 will be in effect
  • The key difference between 1st and 2nd Edition Rules is 4.2.3 (US Air Strike Special Activity) where the die roll is allocated between degrading Trail and/or removing NVA Troops/Guerillas/Bases

Additional Prizes: Additional Prizes will be provided by the publisher, GMT Games, as well as the GM providing the four Finalists a selection of Vietnam classic CD movies and/or books to choose from.

HEATS: MOST WINS - TIMING (HMW-T):

  1. Most Wins (e.g., total in all heats entered)
  2. First Win
    • First Heat played
    • Second Heat played
    • Third Heat played
    • Fourth Heat played
  3. Fewest Heats
  4. Most Second Places
  5. Fewest total points behind first place in second place finishes. Not playing in a heat counts as an N/A for this criteria, not 0 points
  6. Fewest total points behind first place in all finishes. Not playing in a heat counts as an N/A for this criteria, not 0 points
  7. Highest total points ahead of second place
  8. High dice roll.

Semifinalists will be ranked according to the following criteria:

  1. Anyone with two wins (Highest Victory Margin)
  2. Win (Highest Victory Margin) in First Heat
  3. Win (Highest Victory Margin) in Second Heat
  4. Highest Non-Winning Victory Margins in First Heat –tie-breaker will be in order of VC, ARVN, NVA, US
  5. Highest Non-Winning Victory Margins in Second Heat – tie-breaker will be in order of VC, ARVN, NVA, US
  6. Final tie-breaker will be highest numbered card drawn from Deck A

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