Purple Haze board games will explore the combat scenarios of the Vietnam War

Phalanx Games, publisher of Martin Wallace’s Rocketmen and the detailed U-Boot: The Board Game, draws its attention to the Vietnam War. Its next title is called Little Haze, and it goes live on the Gamefound crowdfunding platform from January 25th.

Little Haze promises to deliver single-player and cooperative exploration along with handgun combat in a format most resembling an easy role-playing game. Polygon got a short demo in December, and while it’s not quite as complicated as the publisher’s other offerings, it certainly sounds like an interesting premise.

Although it is not a purely historical game, Little Haze will reflect real events in Vietnam from September 1967 to the spring of 1968, according to Phalanx. That period includes the Tet offensive, a massively coordinated attack by the North Vietnamese on urban areas, and a particularly dark period for the U.S. Marine Corps. Players take on the role of a fire team of rookie grunts fresh from the boat from the United States. Eight connected missions are included in the base game, and Phalanx tells Polygon that an expansion will also be available for pre-order during the crowdfunding campaign.

The Driver Action is a mission booklet that helps players navigate a branching story. Little Haze will rely on a straightforward keyword system to note the player’s progress. Complete a given goal, write down a specific keyword as your reward, and use that word later to bypass, improve, or otherwise adjust the challenges your fire team faces.

There will be over 20 different fictional US Marines included in the base game, each with a range of RPG-style stats – survivability, charisma, perception, intelligence and willpower. Marines can be upgraded between missions using experience points, and they can also gain specializations over time, including roles as a scout and sniper. Character death is possible, and although physical damage can be healed to a certain point, mental damage will be permanent, reflecting the debilitating effects of jungle warfare.

A set of six character maps overlaps a topographic map.  A red marker shows the target.

Photo: Phalanx Games

Components include replicas of the actual topographic maps used by the US military where players have to navigate one grid field at a time. The game is dice driven, where players roll after the enemy and then roll dice to hit them. Each battle is represented by a large map showing the view of the battlefield from the perspective of the naval unit commander. Several goals will present themselves and it is up to the players to focus their fire on specific goals at first contact.

The game tracks the time of day, the level of fatigue and the amount of attention the device gives itself based on the pace of their movements and the places they pass through. Build enough threat and match meetings will show up in no time.

A soldier donated to J.

Soldiers start their trips as “cherry” grunts and can be upgraded to take on roles as a sniper or scout.
Photo: Phalanx Games

All of this may sound quite complex, but it’s actually a much simpler game than others in Phalanx’s library. Submarineincluded, for example, a 3D submarine with truncated sides and a mobile app to simulate using the periscope.

Phalanx’s campaign is one of the first high-profile crowdfunding projects this year to be launched on Gamefound, a platform built around the needs of desktop developers and publishers. Many board game designers and publishers have expressed renewed interest in Gamefound following Kickstarter’s announcement that it will embrace blockchain technology in the future.

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