Friday, 2 December 2022

Another Inconclusive Engagment in Northern Angola

 We had another battle yesterday between the FNLA and FAPLA, and once again it ended with a small difference in victory points, this time only two in FAPLA's favour. So, another disputed victory, with both sides claiming the win.

This is the table before deployment. FAPLA are attacking and three objectives are underlined running along a diagonal: the Western Union Billboard top right; a wrecked Mercedes at the crossroads in the centre; and a destroyed T-34 on the hill bottom right. We find if the attacker places the objectives like this then he (or she) is guaranteed to be close to at least one obejctive regardless of which table edge he/she comes on. Of course, the defender doesn't know the points allocated to the objectives but this time the FNLA had FAPLA deploying along the table edge marked in red. As luck would have it this put the 30 point objective, the T-34, furthest away and the 20 point objective, the Western Union Billboard, closest. The 10 pointer was the damaged Mercedes at the cross roads.

Most of the action took place in the early turns. The FNLA deployed one of their best units in the open around the objective on the hill (seven technicals, two armed with recoiless rifles and five with HMGs, togther with five infantry groups) and FAPLA immediately called in an airstrike as their T-34s and BRDMs began advancing across the table. This proved devastating and softened up the FNLA so much that the tanks successfully rolled up the survivors and secured the objective.

The FNLA did spring an ambush as the communist armour drove past but their recoiless rifles based in the town missed with every shot, much to the chagrin of their commander.

Things didn't go quite as well for FAPLA elsewhere. They committed the one other unit that arrived on time a militia unit whose Cuban advisors had gone AWOL and so elected to send in the overall commander to bolster their morale. A rapid assault forestalled any FNLA protective fire from artillery but the attack went badly as can be seen from the photo above - only one pin has been inflicted on the defenders but several attacking groups have been destroyed. The pink die of death denotes the morale hits. Shortly after this the unit failed another morale test and routed - taking the overall commander with it.

During the political manoeuvre the FNLA had successfully depayed the arrival of FAPLA reserves so when they did turn up it was too late to take any other objectives. Both sides were very wary as the game clock wound down and as dusk fell the result was inconclusive. The FNLA had denied FAPLA the 20 and 10 points objectives and destroyed a militia unit and killed their overall commander; FAPLA had secured the 30 point objective and destroyed a regular unit. 

In hindsight either side could have won but mistakes and luck denied them both a victory.


No comments:

Post a Comment