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Grunt - Roleplaying in the Vietnam WarClick to magnify
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Grunt - Roleplaying in the Vietnam War


Terror. Sheer blind terror sublimated and spat back out of the barrel of an M16. The fear and isolation. The desperation to get out alive - just to get out and get home. A green hell populated by a people who despise you and want to kill you. Or maim you. Or send you mad. This is the Vietnam War. This is GRUNT.

GRUNT attempts to be historically realistic, claustrophobic and packed with a great deal of nervous tension. There are no Rambos or John Waynes here, no daring commando raids and white-toothed grins. You're approaching the heart of darkness, a world of fear and anxiety, booby traps and ambushes, where your body rots in the rain and you're dead beat all day, every day. "You're in the Republic of Vietnam," said an infantry officer at Bien Hoa to his new recruits. "This is the programme for the day: You're going to get killed in Vietnam."

There it is.

GRUNT uses six-sided dice. Players take on the role of members of an infantry squad, part of the famous 1st Cavalry Division, their missions are frought with danger: snipers, booby traps, jungle ambushes, rocket-propelled grenades, friendly-fire ... and stress. Always stress, building up to unbearable levels.

• Combat rules that simulate the fact that in most firefights you cannot see the enemy!
• Helpful advice on running the military campaign
• Background on South Vietnam
• Quick but flavourful rules keeping the action speeding along
• Stress - Terror rules and ways to stay human
• Advice on creating infantry combat missions, including downtime and personal stories
• Twelve scenario seeds based on the titles of tracks by The Doors

An old military adage sums up GRUNT perfectly;
"Anything you do can get you shot. Including doing nothing."


 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (4)
Discussions (4)
Customer avatar
Philip C September 08, 2019 3:20 pm UTC
I noticed in the sample section the US Army rank table. The one pictured is extremely inaccurate as Specialist was Specialist 4 and then went up to Specialist 8. Also it includes Chief Warrant Officer 5 a rank which did not exist until 1991.
Customer avatar
Paul E September 09, 2019 10:36 am UTC
Hi Philip, the table wasn't designed by me, and from your comments it looks a little later than 1968 in date! I'm happy just represent the E4, rather display entire separate rack of specialists (just to confuse the player!). I never knew CW5 was a more modern rank, though. Thanks for the information!
Customer avatar
Justin H June 08, 2023 9:51 am UTC
If you look back at that historical period, there actually were non NCO ranks that went up to Spec 8. So that part of your complaint of it being inaccurate is incorrect. That part is accurate. They ceased those ranks at some point in the 1970s. But they existed back then. Unless they don’t have the NCO ranks for those that want to be NCOs.
Customer avatar
Paul E June 08, 2023 11:01 am UTC
Thanks again, I will be folding much of this material into a Vietnam era supplement for Modern War along with a full campaign, so your suggestions will be incredibly helpful.
Customer avatar
Philip C June 09, 2023 3:46 pm UTC
Greetings. You have misread my statement of fact not complaint. The rank table used was from the late 1990s not the Vietnam Era. I said that Specialist was inaccurate as Spec 4 to Spec 8 were in use at that time. Also when I joined the Army in 1983 there were still Spec 8s as I met several so your complaint of my statement of fact is inaccurate.

Please do not take this as disapproval as I happen to have purchased everything Paul E has published. I find his work mostly accurate and fun to play. We all make mistakes.
Customer avatar
Matthew C June 10, 2019 3:29 am UTC
Let me know when it's in print.
Customer avatar
Justin G March 04, 2019 8:58 pm UTC
It's a great little game, light-rules, dense information snippets from the war politically and logistically so you don't look like a complete fool when running this. However, I did have one question that I can't immediately answer regarding the flak armor. There aren't any stats for it, only states in the description that it's good against fragmentation and "might" stop a high-velocity round but lacks any mechanics that I can see. Is this an oversight or did I miss something?
Customer avatar
Paul E September 06, 2019 10:23 am UTC
That may be an oversight, the flak jackets had patchy use particularly amongst patrolling infantry. There are many photos of soldiers who do wear them (not many seem to) with them un-zipped and open, anyway. Perhaps I should have added a simple rule for them, though!
Customer avatar
Patrick S January 02, 2017 11:06 am UTC
Good & interesting mechanics. Seems lightweight enough, but has enough tactical elements.
But technical information regarding weapons & gear is a mess: a ton of incomplete or wrong data.
Customer avatar
Paul E July 02, 2018 8:11 pm UTC
It's wrong? I don't think so! I am particular about these things. Let me know where you think the gear and weapons might be in error, the best way by far is to use the Zozer site direct:

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File Last Updated:
June 10, 2011
This title was added to our catalog on June 10, 2011.