The game was simple and to be played in two parts.
OVERVIEW: A ZANLA force had established a small ammunition and fuel dump to supply operations in the local province and a small force of Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI) was sent out to smash it up.
|The Table- The Ammo dump is far top right. Fuel dump amongst the buildings on the left.|
The first part of the game was the initial attack of the RLI.
The second part could only be played if the RLI were successful in the initial attack. The Rhodesian player was given a set force that was tasked with the initial attack. The survivors then had to hold the base for 1D6 turns to represent the time taken to lay explosive charges to the ammunition and fuel dumps. The ZANLA guerillas were to firstly hold the base- and if it fell, rapid reinforcements were being sent to retake it after it fell, stopping the RLI from exiting the area of engagement.Connor, Spyros and I were the guerrillas...why do I always have to play insurgents????
Nick and Evan were the well trained and motivated RLI with two squads mounted in Range Rovers and two MOUNTED sticks of Grey's Scouts.....yes horseback!!
Cavalry with SLRs!
As Spyros, whose whole collection is made up of lead figures representing armies from 1939- 2014 proudly announced : " Those six are the only figures that I have on horseback".....I made no comment as I glanced at my cabinet full of Parthians, Persians, Turks, Normans and Marlburian Cuirassiers and Dragoons (thinking I wouldn't mind some of them to supplement the three squads of guerrillas, one ZU23 AA MG and two armoured cars).
The intiative lay with the RLI and they quickly deployed into fire positions to the north and north east but the mounted Grey's Scouts were quickly spotted by the rooftop observers and the barking of the autocannon hit one and forced the other two of the first stick to the ground. The RLI duly opened fire and they must have been all crack shots as the crew all were hit- Spyros' counter roll was outstanding - see the picture below- but to no avail the RLI were just too good by rolling with D10 against our D6 and they survived.
By this time the other guerrillas began to deploy in their allocated firing positions. Stick 2 of the RLI joined the fire fight and the ZANLA boys failed their initiative tests rolling several '1s'. Now in Force on Force a failed reaction test roll of 1 means drawing a 'Fog of War' card. These are a lot of fun and provide some of the most amusing, unexpected and entertaining situations. In the case of the guerrillas we failed 3 reaction tests in a row, rolling 1s and three successive cards called for unmarked mines to detonate. The squad that was hit was determined randomly. In all three cases the squads that triggered the mines were all on the edge of the fuel and ammunition dumps.
Now we can only surmise that the enthusiastic guerrillas had been ordered to 'lay mines' and did so in a very haphazard and lazy manner. But then they didn't bother to remember where they had put them. Three Fog of War cards. Three Mines. Five Casualties. OUCH!
The only insurgents untouched at this point was Connor's squad and his armoured car who were in reserve near the ammo dump.
|The ammo dump|
The stage was set for the second part of the game. One stick took over the ammo dump and one took over the fuel dump. The now dismounted Grey's manned the ZU23.
The ZANLA insurgents moved quickly through the scrub and but found themselves drawing fire. Our armoured cars moved in for support....and very quickly drew fire from the ZU23 now manned by the government forces. Those boys knew how to shoot! In fact the autocannon tore apart two armoured cars and a squad- being on overwatch- before we could get a decent shot in reply. It was then time for the government forces to clear out and they did so with moments to spare as the ammunition and fuel dumps went up in flames with a bang.
As the RLI scrambled through the scrub to escape the remaining guerrillas who were in hot pursuit. Some got too close to the fire ball from the fuel dump and vanished in a wall of flame and no matter what the rest did ( we did get two hits) the RLI and the Scouts managed to get away......damn!
A clear cut victory for the boys from Mr Smith's army - even without choppers!
Sypros, get some more ZANLA figures from Eureka- we're playing this one again!
|The Area to the north of the fuel dump|
|The first squad of guerillas guarding the ammo dumo.|
|ZANLA mobile fire platform.|
|The ZU23 looking for targets.|
|ZANLA squad two.|
|The first mounted squad arrived....and gets targetted by the far sighted observers on the ZU23.|
|First 'Stick' of the RLI dismount.|
|The RLI are here!!|
|Spyros' role - with this sort of luck (firepower) I thought we would win!|
|RLI move cautiously through the undergrowth.|
|'Stick' 1 pinned down!|
|Bring up the GPMG and shoot that f**king ZU23!!|
|No longer 'Pinned' the RLI advance continues.|
|Moving through the scrub|
|Protecting the fuel...this vehicle got shot up by 'Stick' 2 lost control and ploughed into the pile of 44 gallon drums containing the fuel...luckily there was no mass explosion.|
|The RLI show the guerrillas how to use the ZU23 in the second phase of the game.|
|The last of the guerrillas make their stand.|
|The dump moments before it went up with a bang taking the last of the guerrillas with it.|