The Rhodesians Take the Field

Much to my comrade Bob's amazement, I have finished and based my Rhodesians and we were able to get a game in! Don't let the two recently painted armies give the wrong impression. I am much better at not painting armies. But as the lead free pewter/plastic pile grows, it is time to get some of those guys on the table.

One of the employees at our FLGS helped give us a scenario:

The Nationalists must get a truck laden with supplies from their compound off the table. The compound is occupied by Nationalist 'Militia' (note the track-suits and 'football' jerseys!) and by some better trained Nationalist Soldiers. The elite Nationalist 'Presidential Guard' in their natty maroon berets and Soviet export vehicles wait in reserve.

The Rhodesians have an OP set up monitoring the compound. When the activity tips them off, they call in their airborne brothers in the Fireforce to interdict the supplies. But which truck is it?

The first RAR sticks touch down in their Alouette III helos as the trucks rumble towards the compound gate.

A closeup of the compound. The militia are lounging about in the buildings while the soldiers sit in the shade of the compound walls.

With very effective supporting fires from the K-Car command Alouette (armed with a 20mm cannon) the first helo sticks make contact but take heavy casualties as they are pinned down in the bush by the surprisingly accurate fire from the Nationalist forces. They manage to assault into a heavy part of the bush and await reinforcements from follow-up helo landings and the landtail ground column. The harsh climate and aging transport fleet meant that a combat drop of more sticks from a Para Dak (WWII era C-47!) was not in the cards.

The Nationalists counter-attack with all available men from the compound as well as the escorting technicals. The technical's 12.7mm heavy machine guns take a toll, even on the highly trained Rhodesians.

The landtail finially arrives! Note the single Rhodesian stand hunkered down in the palms to the right, all that remains of the first drop.

Rhodesian reinforcements arrive and begin to maneuver to outflank the Nationalists. The Elands rush up the road and the ancient Staghounds move to support the last stick of RAR taking cover in the palm stand. The 2nd helo drop takes up ambush positions from the hillock and bush overlooking the road.

Look at those track-suits! The militia look more sharp than the soldiers!

Nationalists press the attack and pin the Rhodesian infantry, but lucky shooting has taken out their RPGs, limiting their effectiveness against the aging Staghounds. The panicked civilian drivers of the transport trucks bottleneck behind a wrecked technical, delaying their flight at a crucial time. But a huge dust cloud is coming up the road behind the compound....

After this point we forgot about taking pictures...

The Presidential Guard arrive in BMPs and T-55 tanks! The Rhodesian's limited air support, in the form of a Rheims Lynx prop plane arrives (a South African licensed copy of the Cessna Skymaster. Yes, the Rhodesians used Cessnas for close air support!) As the Lynx tucks into a dive to drop what little ordinance he has on the T-55s in an effort to slow them down a little, he is bulls-eyed by the tanks, those heavy 12.7mm rounds shredding his light plane. Lets hope he makes it back to base, but things look grim.

With the Lynx down, the Elands are the only hope of taking out the T-55s. They make a daring dash to cover, hoping to get around the sides of those beasts so their 90mm gun can be more effective. But night falls and both sides loose contact. The shipment gets away in the gloom. Hopefully good intelligence from the local kraal will start the hunt once more.

Many thanks to Bob for his wonderful terrain. Most of it is scratch built, including the bigger buildings in the compound. The table looked great, and so did his Nationalist Africans. We also had some guest players that night and we really appreciate them taking some time to game with us. Look forward to many more games to come!

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