Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Ambushed on the Way to the Border AAR

The day job has been getting in the way of gaming lately, although I have been doing some painting for a project that will see War for Slow Readers move into another theatre...watch this space.

Three of us did play a game using the modified Cold War 83 rules a couple of weeks ago though. This pitched a mercenary led platoon of the FNLA against an advancing Cuban company.

The Cubans were spearheading the FAPLA offensive in northern Angola and their objective was to cut the dirt road that can (just) be seen on the extreme top left of the picture below. The FNLA had three entrenchments located on the low ridge between the road and the advancing communists. HMGs were positioned in the flanking trenches and a couple of assault rifle stands were in the central trench. Behind the ridge the mercenaries, armed with FN SLRs were positioned so they could co-ordinate the defence. The only reserve was a stand of assault rifles and a GPMG armed technical.

None of the FNLA were revealed to the approaching Cubans until they opened fire or moved while in line of sight.

Comrade Chris duly tried to walk his troops on the table in a two up one back formation right into the killing zone. One platoon took casualties in a hail of .50 cal fire straight away, the survivors were suppressed.

It looked like it was all over for the Cubans. One platoon was decimated and had gone to ground, their comrades on their left knew someting very bad was happening and the third platoon hadn't even got over the start line i.e. on the table.

Chris kept his cool though and got his left flank platoon moving using the cover that was available. He managed to reconfigure his advance and push his third platoon up on the extreme right where thick bush gave some shelter from FNLA spotters.

Jeff opened up with everything he had and what followed was a desperate firefight as the relatively poorly trained FNLA attempted to get rounds down from the security of their trenches while the Cubans tried to suppress their tormentors and move forward.

The FNLA committed the Technical on their right when the .50 cal entrenched there was suppressed. A couple of Cuban RPGs went astray and it looked like another Communist platoon was going to be shot up as the FNLA gunner prepared to fire. He got off one burst before his weapon jammed, and then the technical exploded! One can only assume that the crew was careless with a cigarette butt in a vehicle that was loaded with live ammunition and gasoline...

By now the Cubans had abandoned all pretence at battle drill. Instead of fire and movement it was a case of pouring as many rounds into the FNLA as possible and anyone who could move was running flat out at the ridge.

Not subtle and not pretty, but it worked.

The Cubans suppressed each postion in turn and when they got into close quarters they were not taking prisoners.

I'd placed a 10 turn limit on the game as an arbitrary way of modelling exhaustion of ammunition and men. It was close but the Cubans got a fireteam across the road on turn 10, having killed or routed all but two the FNLA stands.

Another Cuban victory but at a high cost - a whole platoon's worth of Havana's finest were killed or wounded. The FNLA took another pounding - their poorly trained troops failing to old their ground. Another blow to FNLA morale and four more mercenaries were killed along with a dozen Angolan fighters.


  1. Very cool! Although, just out of curiosity, are you doing this in 15mm? I've seen some of your Peter Pig stuff, looks great, by the way.

  2. Hi Austin, yes all in 15mm as I built my armies with AK47 republic rules in mind. There is some great 20mm stuff around and if I'd started out with Cold War 83 I think I'd have gone with 20mm...