Thursday, May 31, 2007

Game on 5/30

The Latest game played. This is a semi historic account of a 1979 sweep by F company of the 4th battalion of the Rhodesia Regiment in the Chungwe valley. It is only semi historical due to the addition of the armoured car. Typically AC's were cross posted to companies of the RR to act in a combined arms function. We used the rules set Fireforce.

Forces involved were 1 Lynx aircraft, 1 Ferret armoured car and 3 sticks of 5 men each for the Rhodesians. Each stick had 4 riflemen and 1 MAG gunner. The 5 man sweep is atypical as far as I know, however during this battle per my source the 4th RR Bn used at least 1 stick of 5 men. I have chosen to use this as a battalion level phenomenon.

Zanla forces consisted of 2 sections of 8 men each, armed with 6 AK 47 's 1 RPK machine gun and 1 RPG per group. I commanded the Zanla forces and Chris H. victor of the last game had The Rhodesians.

The Advance

The Sweep line advances forward. Expecting to encounter the enemy the Armoured car takes up a flanking position prior to the sticks plunging into the elephant grass.

The firefight

A failed tactic, The Zanla commander(me) placed the section in heavy cover hoping to ambush the Rhodesians at close range. Losing initiative the Rhodesians spot them first delivering heavy fire and 2 grenades at point blank range . Due to the brittle morale of the guerrilla's the group is routed after a couple of rounds of ineffective return fire.

the retreat of group 1

The Rhodesian Section Commander calls in a Lynx. The plane arrives in time to strafe the fleeing section as they break into the open. The survivor flee off the board.

The destruction of group 2

The Rhodesians advance upon the remaining group. The 2nd ZANLA section opens fire as the Rhodesians emerge from the brush. The firing line is involved in a heavy fire fight with the Rhodesians resulting in the only enemy Casualty. Shooting is not as effective as hoped as several RPG rounds go wildly astray. The lynx now makes a strafing run on the ZANLA position, heavily hitting the guerillas. The final sections morale is shaken forcing them to the ground and resulting in ineffective return fire on the Rhodesian Sticks.

The Wrap up

The final moments of the game. The last of the Zanla section is surrounded and fail their morale test and surrender. Oh well! A fine game with a final score of 13 Kia, 2 surrendered and only 1 escaping vs 1 Rhodesian casualty. Historically accurate but still a fairly heavy shellacking. it could have been a closer game if I hadn't made some major mistakes in setup none the less, an excellent game by my fine opponent.
A final note on the terrain. I was somewhat disappointed with the pictures of the elephant grass. They appear much more glossy than in real life. I also haven't quite got the color right on them so I will be experimenting a little more.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Originally manufactured in the closing days of world war 2, the Vampire was the original Rhodesian jet fighter. Superseded by the Hunter, the Vampire soldiered on in No. 2 squadron until the end of the war. 2 separate versions, the single seat FB.9 and the 2 seat trainer T.11 were used. The FB.9 was in effect a FB.5 version with air conditioning, not the most popular aircraft due to it's age and lack of ejector seats. the FB.9 was mostly retired by 1978. The T.11 and FB. 9 were both used in larger scale external raids.
This model is the Frog 1/72 scale kit. It went together fairly well although I'm no model builder . The one major fault is the pilot, it's so ugly even a mother (or modeler) couldn't love. Save your self the trouble and buy an after market one.

Friday, May 18, 2007

SAS book reviews

sticking on a SAS theme I will review a couple of books on the SAS.
1st is The Elite the story of the Rhodeisan SAS by Barbra Cole. I am only halfway through it but it is a gem. coming in at 431 pages it's a great overview of the actions of the SAS through the whole war. If the SAS were involved its probably here. However, some of the missions are not described in as much detail as I would like. This is a quibble though, it consistently well written and I find myself reading it in small amounts so I don't read it too quick and miss something. always a good sign for a book. It is however expensive at around $50.oo so shop around.
5 out of 5 stars

On a litle cheaper note. is the complete encyclopedia of the SAS by Barry Davies. This book is written in dictionary fashion covering all aspects of the SAS. while primarily dealing with the British unit, there are numerous articles on the Rhodesians covering operations and principles in the regiment with about a paragraph per article, it is a good overview. It gives some good insights and I found my copy in the bargain section at barnes and noble for $5.00! 3 out of 5 stars.


The Rhodesian SAS were originally formed as C sqd Malaysian scouts (SAS). Part of the Commonwealth force That fought in Malaysia in the 1950's. The squadron was involved heavily in external operations throughout the Rhodesian war conducting operations in all the neighboring countries. All manner of transport were utilized from halo jumps to the famous SAS Land rovers.
These pictures are part of the liberation models line of 20mm figures. I originally was not going to buy these as I have looked at 100+ pictures of Rhodesian combat forces and have not seen a single pic of any infantry wearing berets. I have seen pics of Armoured car crews in the beret though. However, I read in Chris Cocks book that the RLI after 1978 were allowed to wear their berets in the field. Whether they did or not I have no idea. but if they were allowed other units also might have been allowed. it is plausible. also it looks cool. and that won in the end.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Book Review 4

Winds of Destruction by Group Capt Petter-Bowyer

This Book as the title implies is a memoir of the Author's Life in the Rhodesian Air force. He was a career Officer and served through the span of the conflict. He was also instrumental in the development of certain munitions that where unique to the Rhodesians. Specifically Golf bombs and flechettes. Lot of good stories and background, I liked the book overall, It was a tad long 550+ pages and I honestly found the most interesting part was not about the Rhodesian war at all but about his time flying vampires in Aden as part of a British Commonwealth force. Allot of good info on the Air Force. Also, in print and on amazon for under $30.00. 31/2 stars.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Book Review 3

Modern African Wars (1) Rhodesia by Peter Abbott

This is the Osprey publications book and is an excellent starter guide to the period. If you are completely new to the period this is where you should start. It has a brief history of the conflict, units involved and of course the plates. This was the first book I bought on the subject and it is still the book I pick up most often as a reference guide for painting. While it is true that most of the information can be located else where The plates alone make it worth the cost. Also it is still in print and can frequently be found on ebay for around $10.00.
4 out of 5 stars